Last week I was intending to write a posting about the 3 separate churches of what Mormons call the restoration (I prefer to call it the foundation, as the scriptures testify that the “restoration” is yet to come). This is because without starting to chip away at the traditions of our fathers which keep us tethered to the view that all is well in Zion, one cannot fully grasp the need for the servants to return with the fulness and prune the vineyard one last time prior to the Savior’s return.
However, I feel compelled to jump ahead for now and talk about Joseph. Truly his name has been, and will be known for good and evil throughout the world. In fact, the more information comes out about him the greater the stumbling-block he has become for many. Take, for example, the recent admission by the church in the essays on polygamy that he took upwards of 40 wives and that one of them was as young as 14. Apologists tie themselves up in knots trying to explain or justify these actions as being congruent with God’s commands.
Obviously, the church feels the need to defend Joseph at all costs. He was the prophet of the restoration and if he proves to be a false prophet then the truth claims of the church melt away like butter in the afternoon sun. However, I would suggest that there is a different way to view Joseph, one that doesn’t set up a “sudden death” scenario of right or wrong–one that takes a 2-part view of his life and that is supported by scripture.
The first part of Joseph’s ministry was brilliant. He conversed with heavenly messengers, brought forth the Book of Mormon, established the Church of Christ, received over 100 recorded revelations and sought to prepare a people to establish Zion and live the celestial law of consecration. During this time the fulness of the priesthood was restored at the Morley Farm in June 1831. The saints enjoyed and experienced many spiritual outpourings and blessings during the years leading up to the deadline for the redemption of Zion which was declared by Joseph to be September 11, 1836.
However, once the saints failed to live consecration and effectively rejected the fulness, all hell seemed to break loose with the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society, the defilement of the Kirtland Temple and the general apostasy that occurred among the membership. In fact, the Lord had foreseen this when he said in D&C 64:21:
I, the Lord, will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years, in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some.
It is no co-incidence that the date of this revelation is September 11, 1831.
Following the rejection of Zion, Joseph’s prophetic production declined precipitously. In fact after 1836 Joseph only records 12 revelations, none of which occurs in the last 3 years of his life.
The question is why? Isaiah has one answer and 2 Nephi clarifies the reason why.
For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. Isaiah 29:10
For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets: and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity. 2 Nephi 27:5
Is it possible, as suggested by scripture, that Joseph’s eyes were covered? That his prophetic gifts were curtailed because of the iniquity of the people? When one carefully examines his life post rejection of Zion, one sees a very different Joseph. Although the date is somewhat unclear to scholars, it is around this time period that Joseph has what Oliver refers to as: “a nasty, filthy affair” with Fanny Alger and then starts to introduce polygamy to a few of the brethren.
To me it is telling that Joseph’s doctrinal innovations that cannot be fully justified by scripture started happening after Zion had been rejected, therefore leading to his eyes being covered. It is also telling to observe that Sidney Rigdon, whose job it expressly was to validate Joseph’s revelation via scripture, stopped doing so later in his life. Remember that The Lord had already revealed the Law of the Celestial Kingdom by early 1831, including the law of monogamy (D&C 42), and had promised Joseph and a few select others the other Comforter, even the promise of eternal life, two years later (D&C 88). What more does one need after having the law that leads to the establishment of Zion and results in the promise of celestial glory?
The idea that Joseph, in a state of blindness brought on by the iniquity of the people, could somehow introduce a false teaching or a false doctrine is anathema to most faithful Mormons. Having been taught from the pulpit that a prophet will never lead us astray it is inconceivable that anything he did would not have had the royal stamp of approval from on high.
Bear with me as we search the scriptures together and find out that not only was this possible, it was foreseen and prophesied.
Let’s start with 2 Samuel 7. The prophet Nathan is prophesying to King David about a servant who would do great things in a future day.
12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with they fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee; thy throne shall be established for ever.
So in this prophecy, a servant of the line of David (Davidic Servant) shall:
1 Build a temple.
2 Establish a Kingdom that will last forever.
3 Receive the promise of eternal life which is what happens when one becomes a Son or Daughter of God.
4 Commit iniquity. The scripture uses the word “if he commit iniquity” but “when he commit iniquity” is probably how we should read it. God knew beforehand what would happen, but to preserve the agency of the Davidic Servant, it is phrased in prophecy as an “if” instead of “when”. This also calls to mind the scripture in D&C 43:3 where the Lord says there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. This suggests that the Lord knew Joseph would sin, and indeed Joseph told the church in 1843 that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church by birth-right & he was going to have a reformation and the saints must regard Hyrum for he had authority. You can read the journals regarding that sermon here.
5 Retain the mercy of God, despite committing iniquity. It is amazing to contemplate how the servant could retain the mercy of God. I suppose I am teasing you a bit about my next post which will address the “why” a prophet could retain God’s mercy after committing iniquity. Stay tuned.
Some have argued that this servant is David’s son, Solomon, because he built a temple. We know that Solomon sinned having taken many wives who turned him away from the Lord. However, there is no record that Solomon received a promise of eternal life from God, or that he was promised that he would ever establish a kingdom that would last forever.
Some have also postulated that the prophecy points to Christ. However, we can discard this notion out of hand. Christ was the sinless one and he never built a temple.
In examining the evidence, however, Joseph Smith fits the profile perfectly if you allow for the possibility that he would commit iniquity by introducing a false doctrine! This scripture brings amazing insight into Joseph’s life and how we got off on the wrong track as a church with the spiritual wifery and polygamy. We don’t have to defend it anymore. It was an abomination, pure and simple. Could the following scripture actually apply to modern Mormonism?
Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment [false doctrine].
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face:
As with all scripture there are multiple witnesses that testify of any particular truth. Moroni and Elijah both quoted Malachi when they appeared to Joseph. We tend to focus on the 4th chapter of that book, but chapter 2 would appear to be about Joseph. Note that I don’t pretend to know everything that is referenced in this chapter. Most prophecies have dual fulfillments. My comments here should be considered speculative. Use your own powers of discernment to determine the truth.
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. [Joseph indeed turned many from iniquity in his early work as a prophet.]
7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. [And what a stumbling block he was and still is today!]
9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. [Recalls the prophecy that his name should be had for good and evil, and rightly so.]
10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
12 The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master [Joseph] and the scholar [Sidney], out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts. [And indeed both Joseph and Sidney were cut off–Joseph as the lamb to the slaughter, and Sidney as the scapegoat led off into the wilderness.]
13 And this have ye done again covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and wife of thy youth against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. [Ahah! This points right at the spiritual wife doctrine and polygamy. Joseph indeed dealt treacherously with Emma and caused many to stumble.]
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. [The Lord is not pleased.]
16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away; for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts; therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. [Not pleased again for emphasis.]
17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD and he delighteth in them; or Where is the God of judgment? [Brigham taught that unless you followed the commandment–spiritual wifery–you could not enter the highest level of the celestial kingdom. Is this not exactly what the Lord is warning us against–calling the practice of an abomination righteousness?]
There are many other scriptures about Joseph sprinkled within the standard works. As a church we tend to focus on those with a positive spin, as opposed to those which could challenge our correlated view of him. He was a great man in bringing forth the Book of Mormon, the priesthood, the Church of Christ, and in trying to get the saints to establish Zion. When they failed to do so, as prophesied, things fundamentally changed. Joseph’s eyes were darkened, his prophetic gifts were restrained (but not necessarily eliminated), he introduced abominations that were a reflection of what the people were committing or desiring to commit.
We don’t need to defend Joseph’s spiritual wifery and polygamy. We don’t need to set up an either/or binary decision regarding Joseph’s prophetic calling. He was a prophet, he committed iniquity, he retained the mercy of God and he yet has work to do prior to the return of the Savior [see the Marvelous Work is a Future Event]. The Church has perpetuated the stumbling block of Joseph by trying to justify everything he did as coming from God. A more mature view comes from an understanding of scripture. We can defend and love him for what he did and what he will yet do. There is no need to defend his introduction of false doctrines, which also fulfills what the Lord promised in Section 4 verses 5 & 6 of the Book of Commandments where he said:
And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hears, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.
And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto satan…
A topic for another day.
Again, I want to emphasize that only through searching the scriptures and paying heed to the Spirit can you come to a knowledge of the truth. This is the only way to not be deceived. I concede there may be errors in my interpretations, and you should not rely upon them in your searching.
After fully diving into the history once again, I’m not fully convinced he was a polygamist or taught polygamy at all.
That said, since there’s no way to really know, I agree with you there’s no reason to defend it if he did. Polygamy is wrong, and it doesn’t matter if you translated the Book of Mormon, it’s still wrong.
Thanks for the comment. Given the evidence that continues to come to light including the recent church essays on Joseph’s polygamy, any position that he didn’t teach or practice it seems increasingly tenuous. That said, it appears that Joseph recognized the error and tried to repent during the last year of his life. William Marks, the stake president in Nauvoo testified that Joseph came to him shortly before his death and told Marks that he had been deceived and that Marks (who had not become involved in polygamy) needed to root out the evil practice from the church. Of course, Brigham would never tell you that because he was fully entrenched in the practice and had to justify it at all costs. It is also why BY had to excommunicate the only Prophet, Seer and Revelator left on the earth after Joseph and Hyrum were killed. Sydney was led off into the wilderness because he was opposed their practice of these abominations.
Evidence, no matter how much, is not necessarily ‘proof’. Without proof Joseph should be considered innocent of such vile crimes and righteous, fair & Christlike men & women who believe in the Golden Rule would consider him innocent too, because there is no real proof whatsoever that Joseph ever preached or practiced polygamy. Even a court of law didn’t find him guilty of polygamy, even though the Church used the best ‘evidence’ they had.
But that doesn’t mean Joseph was innocent of other sins. He proves guilty of plenty of other sins to know that he was not a true prophet of God.
But it’s very interesting how most members ignore the real proof we have that Joseph wasn’t a true prophet, based on his preaching and practices, while they just assume he was guilty of one of the viliest of evils, yet still believe such a man could be a true prophet of God?
Such only shows that people will be believe in the kind of ‘prophets’, whether true or false, that allow what the people themselves really want to do.
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What kingdom was it that Joseph set up never to fall? The Church of Christ, the Church of the Latter Day Saints or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
Or did he just set up his throne in a kingdom that’s still needing to be set up?
The D&C show that the kingdom was coming forth and then fled back into the wilderness.
I don’t believe the kingdom is on the earth. At least not the one prophesied in Daniel chapter 2.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
The kingdom has yet to come forth. JS set up the foundational work, but because of wickedness the church fled back into the wilderness. For additional perspective read my post titled The Marvelous Work is a Future Event. He still holds the keys and is coming back to fulfill all the unfulfilled prophecies in the D&C.
Wow, Thank you for this post!!! I’ve never felt right about polygamy yet I know that Joseph was a prophet and I know the book of Mormon is from God. I always felt like Joseph was so great but then something turned near the end of his life that seem to contradict what he did before. I wasn’t sure if it was God’s way of testing his people as he sometimes does through prophets or if Joseph was just wrong in teaching polygamy, or if polygamy was actually correct and we should still be practicing it. I really didn’t think it was ever right. This post helped me a lot to reconcile a lot of my feelings on this subject. You really helped me to have much more confidence in thinking that it was never right in the first place.
Thanks for this awesome blog!!! Keep it up!
-A fellow watcher and seeker
I did not like this post because I know plural marriage is not only good, but it’s a requirement if one wants to be a God someday. Haven’t you ever read D&C 132?
Besides, the Lord also says polygamy is required in The Second Book of Commandments. Go read it for yourself.
Henrik Metz said:
It is wrong and against the scripture; both Bible and Book of Mormon. It has nothing to do with religion and should be considered as a cultural phenomenon. I don’t think D&C 132 is a very inspired piece of scripture because it totally contradicts the respect the Lord has for the free agency of man. In fact it is in part a ridiculous way of thinking. It contains some true doctrine though, but not regarding polygamy itself.
But if you know it is good, than it is good for you, but you cannot speak for me.
The author has definitely read section 132 and has come to the conclusion that all pure in heart will come to through prayerful study of its text. It’s a false revelation, the author being Satan.
As history proves, most men (and even many women) fall for or support the abuse of women by things like polygamy. So it is not surprising that many men fell for men like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and other false prophets, ancient or modern.
Christ taught that life is a test to see who will fall for false prophets, ancient or modern, who preach and practice things contrary to his commandments. Christ taught that polygamy is always adultery, no mattter what. He taught over and over that true prophets would never preach or practice polygamy, or anything contrary to the teachings of Christ. Thus it’s easy to tell true prophets from false ones, IF we have studied and believed the words of Christ over the teachings of men.
Henrik Metz said:
I find it remarkable how people hold on to their belief in the innocence of the prophet in regard to polygamy, while there is so much evidence that he was involved in it.
I like the interpretation that is given in this post and I totally agree with your reading.
It is interesting to note that not all revelation comes from the Lord. I advise to read
“An adres to all believers in Christ”, written by David Whitmer. I found the following quote on one of the pages:
“Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada, and sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father’s house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada. Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: “Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil.” So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord. This was a lesson for our benefit and we should have profited by it in future more than we did”.
Hey it does matter… Either the published doctrine is wrong , D&C, or the prophets are wrong or both. On top of that, why would a phophets lie (Smith, Woodruff, Smith 2) if they spoke on the side of the Lord?
This shows at the very least the book of commandments, D&C and the prophets are not honest… And one can role it back to the BOM…
BTW, does an Old Testament concubine equal a wife? Does OT divorcing children from the above come in as OK by God? Easy to find the holes in the logic that the LDS apologists use.
How about a black concubine and wife pre 1978? And the kids??
The point I am making is that everything that happens after the saints reject Zion needs to come under increased scrutiny. We don’t need to arbitrarily roll everything back to the Book of Mormon. We don’t need to paint a black and white picture. Joseph could be a prophet who does wonderful things and then he could cause many to stumble. He could introduce false doctrine as the one implementing the Lord’s promise in the Book of Commandments Chapter 4 to turn the saints over to Satan if they hardened their hearts. The black and white view of prophets does not serve us well. That is why we are to use the Spirit of Discernment along with the scriptures to discern truth. Unfortunately the leadership of the Mormon church has very little tolerance for alternative views, and does not trust the flock to follow the spirit and make determinations of truth themselves.
Fellow Truthseeker said:
This is a well written article. I agree with many things written there in. I was just trying to explain to a non-member how i feel that the original 1830 BofM is the real deal while at the same time, something happened in Joseph Smith’s life that derailed things. Period. God doesn’t contradict himself. He seems to contradict Himself but He always leaves a pure line of truth in BOTH the BIBLE and the 1830 BofM. Period.
Personally, the only way I could be in a polygmous relationship right this second is if I could also be in a polyamourous (more than one husband) at the exact same time. I won’t have my agency or my needs denied to me because I’m forced to share a husband.
In all seriousness though…have a huge problem w/polygamy and I look forward to continue my search to find the real truth for myself. I will find it. I’m close. I can feel it.
For any of you who believe that Joseph actually lived polygamy, I would invite you to google the book “Joseph fought polygamy”. It is a well documented book, and I think you may even be able to read it as a pdf online. I do NOT believe that Joseph lived or taught polygamy, and that the instances where he sealed people to himself were not for the purpose of polygamy or carnal relations with them, but that they were people who were being sealed up unto eternal life in the sense of being sealed to the head of the dispensation. If I remember right, didn’t Joseph also seal men to himself? And so if he did, wouldn’t this make more sense that he was sealing them up unto the Lord and not merely creating and expanding a harem? If Joseph did live polygamy, in a time long before any form of birth-control, why are there no children with any of the so-called wives?
The good AND EVIL to be spoken of Joseph, would not just come from those outside the church, but by the leaders of the modern day church itself. To accuse Joseph of living polygamy, when he did no such thing, is akin to “speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed”. Be careful the way you take the Prophet’s (Joseph’s) name on your lips.
I have read the book. Those who continue to claim that Joseph didn’t practice polygamy are certainly entitled to their own opinions. However, they turning a blind eye to the overwhelming historical evidence and the prophetic profile of a prophet who does much good and then causes people to stumble which was the very point of the post. As much as people want to defend Joseph in all his actions, it is naive to do so. The big question is WHY? The question can be answered if you explore the Atonement Statute that I explore in the post entitled “One Like Unto Moses”. With that perspective you can understand (1) that Joseph was acting out the sins of the people as part of an atonement, and (2) that he was fulfilling the Lord’s promise to turn the people over to Satan if they didn’t reform (See Book of Commandments chapter 4).
Devin, though you may believe it is well researched, the authors are disingenuous as they would cherry pick their quotes and would leave out context … I am on the side of onewhoissearching … we have to get off the box of idolatry towards Joseph … our worship of anyone other than Christ is a sin. Joseph sinned, but repented … thank goodness.
still learning said:
I’m just now becoming familiar with your blog. I want to say up front I realize much of what I have to say here, maybe most of it, could be in you blog website. Sorry if I’m just repeating all over the place. I’m just discovering your writing but can tell you love scripture as I do. It’s why I’m willing to write you. I heard from your podcast you have a book near ready to publish. This last year I’ve been reading books on Joseph and polygamy, the first time I was willing to dive into it. In doing so I’ve done a complete 180. I wondered if you had read any of what I have the past year. I searched the subject on your word search and found you read one of them, Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy, where you referenced it to a comment here. Did you read just the 1st or also the 2nd and 3rd books, same title same authors? There are now other books from other authors coming to the same conclusion as JSFP with more documentation. The best of them just came out October 2018. This book is my favorite because it’s so scripture based, as he writes with purpose to lead readers to repent and come to Christ. This book is “The Secret Chamber – Spiritual Wifery and the Doctrine of Christ” by Anonymous. No he isn’t the Anonymous known for obtaining the Second Comforter. This Anonymous keeps name hidden to remain LDS. I know who he is because of family who knows him. I read your entry here of JS and polygamy with interest. I personally don’t believe JS lived or taught polygamy, though I agree with you it normally doesn’t really matter since Prophets are still weak humans. I don’t look to worship JS, or any man, only Christ. But it does matter in Joseph’s case for following reason. True Prophets aren’t crushed by the burden of the Lord. (Well Jonah was but he learned better within 3 days now didn’t he.) Joseph was certainly willing to declare the 1st vision. And he did’t shy away from declaring Book of Mormon was from a buried gold book he was given by an angel and given power to translate even though he couldn’t show the gold book to the world to show the proof, since the angel took it back! He certainly bore the Burden of the Lord then! Yet it is accepted by vast majority of LDS people he lived polygamy in secret for fear of his wife? that makes absolutely no sense! Brigham was the one that was brave enough to openly live polygamy. Well he did some after JS was murdered since his children count exploded as did many top apostleship’s children count explode same time. (Joseph to date has no DNA posterity outside of Emma) And Brigham’s polygamy became openly public after he and his followers went West. He certainly wasn’t afraid to carry the burden of the Lord over polygamy. But it wasn’t his to bear, or so Brigham said publicly in 1852 when Brigham declared DC132 had been in his locked desk drawer unseen by anyone, since JS gave him this copy years before. (And JS hadn’t publicly revealed it himself, since he, JS, had been afraid to carry the burden of the Lord because of Emma). Oh but maybe then again maybe Brigham did receive the revelation. (see the link at the very end of this reply.) Not only was Joseph unable to carry the burden of the Lord in spiritual wifery, he vehemently denied it publicly, preached and published against it proclaiming God’s will for monogamy in Book of Commandments 101, in public and in Times and Seasons, and also excommunicated men he discovered living it. That’s more than not bearing the Burden of the Lord. Something else bothers me you said here in answer to a comment; Joseph tested the people by introducing false doctrine. I don’t recall where this was ever done by true prophets specifically to test the people, but you know scriptures better than me. I don’t know how to react to this line of reasoning. Except that Brigham did a better job of testing us all with multiple false doctrines; Adam is God, No priesthood for Cain’s black folk, blood atonement (the worst of all), and now openly teaching polygamy and replacing Book of Commandments 101 with DC 132. Is it such a stretch to think Brigham did a bang up job framing JS for his own power, sexual way of life, and wealth? Really? Before Brigham and the apostles grabbed this power and authority over the church they had been given authority by JS over the gentiles only, no power or authority whatsoever for the church at all. Also I can’t swallow this doesn’t matter because if JS was teaching, preaching, excommunicating, against polygamy while secretly living it, then he was one of the biggest religious public liars that ever lived. This fact disturbed me so much it drove me to my knees to inquire of God if Joseph was such a liar. Before the words came out I found myself asking if he was this big liar, what else had he lied about? Seeing the first vision? I pray when I search scriptures, and now our history, for truth. You can’t have a witness to what you don’t ask. I think many people who have learned what I’ve learned, or a fraction of it, and leave the church, never bothered to pray and ask God what he wants them to do with their newly found truth and reality. I asked this also. And so I stay like Abish, waiting and watching for God to finish tearing down this wall made with untempered mortar and finish exposing the foundation that was weakly build upon, (Ezekiel 13: 1-16 (10-14)) and also wait for the shepherd David (All of Ezekiel 34: but Shepherd David specifically vs 23-24) Back to JS. There is no way to definitively prove JS and polygamy one way or another since we can’t witness history in reality. I wish that before you feel you are finished writing your book you’d at least take a look at the “The Secret Chamber – Spiritual Wifery and the Doctrine of Christ” available on Amazon. You’d love it since the author is a scriptorian. All these years we knew both good and bad would be said of JS’ name, never did we imagine the bulk of it would be from his successors and the church God restored through him. Perhaps you know this already but Joseph Smith the 3rd, JS Jr’s son, went to the US President asking that polygamy be outlawed to clear his father’s name, which he eventually succeeded. The pressure from US gov’t on LDS people to end practice resulted. When JS 3rd began this crusade he also went west with other missionaries to SLC to convince the saints polygamy was not from his father JS but from Brigham. It was at this time we find the majority of journal entries and signed affidavits from women claiming to have been sealed to JS. (most were now Brigham’s or other general authorities wives, not like they had any motivation to keep their homes, father of their children, and way of life, right?!) Most of this newly documented history came when Brigham’s polygamy and power was being threatened like never before.The source that Brigham claims being the receiver of the plural wife revelation is below. It’s an old magazine/book of the west published under the name “The Western Galaxy Volume 1” pg 247 on the right hand column. I hope you’ll consider doing more research before you dismiss the possibility that Brigham and the Apostles framed Joseph for spiritual wifery for their own power and vile lifestyle. You have many followers and readers, it’s quite a responsibility I don’t envy. It is so discouraging to see what may be truth (to me it is) and know the vast majority still believe what may someday prove to be a lie. Here is the link:
Sorry for the delay in approving your comment and responding. Although I recognize that many books have been written attempting to absolve JS from practicing and teaching the polygamy / spiritual wife doctrine there is serious contemporary evidence that cannot be denied from those who were close to him, including Hyrum introducing the doctrine to the Nauvoo High Council, and the testimony of William Marks and William Law regarding the practice. I believe Joseph practiced and taught in secret the doctrine as a means to turn the Lord’s people over to Satan for a period of chastisement. He stumbled because we was an intercessor for the Saints, something I lay out in great detail in my forthcoming book.
Also note, that the Twelve Apostles, including BY were sent to gather the House of Israel when they went overseas missions to the British Isles. The historical record and statements by Joseph make that clear.