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Switch to Forum Live View Modern Day Polygamy in Mainstream LDS Members
10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 5:13PM #71
Posts: 1,194

Wow, he must have touched a raw nerve???

Instead of issuing a rather hostile and defensive blanket denial, how about actually discussing the points you disagree with, and we'll check the LDS historical record to determine the truth?

Sincerely --

You are right Gaia.  I should think before I post.  I am on very thin ice right now.  I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.  I should not take it out on others.  I apologize to you and to everyone else.
In God We Trust
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 6:45PM #72
Posts: 636
[QUOTE=deseretlady;673366]You are right Gaia.  I should think before I post.  I am on very thin ice right now.  I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.  I should not take it out on others.  I apologize to you and to everyone else.[/QUOTE]


And i apologize if i was a little less charitable about that, than i should have been --

As i've said in the other thread, i know -- better than i can ever express -- how  this cannot be easy for you.   I would never wish to add to your discomfort.

The Church is a human institution, run by human beings, who do their best but are still flawed human beings; but God is faithful, right beside you -- and He MADE that ice!     *wink*

May i offer something that might help?  Check out/ Google the phrase, "Dark Night of the Soul".  I think you may find some things to read, tht will help you through this challenging time.

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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 7:05PM #73
Posts: 5,277
Deseret Lady, there is much in LDS history that can be disconcerting to first time learners. I view this board as a safe place to learn in a supportive atmosphere. If you have specific questions, I have found that Gaia can sometimes cite chapter and verse from a wide array of LDS historical materials.

Mormon author Orson Scott Card, has talked about learning accurate history as an inoculatory process for Mormons on the internet, for they surely will be exposed to it in an unsupportive manner, as witnessed on the the Debate board which you are familiar with.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 7:10PM #74
Posts: 1,451
Well, I don't agree with Gaia's conclusions. I think the first person Joseph told about polygamy was Emma.  How could he not?  But I think Emma fought it tooth and nail.  She denied it right to her dying day, and yet we have ample evidence that she knew about it. 

As to the claims of Smith III, I see no bearing on believing in a so-called blessing given to him by his father.  I think the RLDS made it up to bolster their claims, and as you said, no blessing has been found.  Also, remember, ad the time of Smith's death, his son wasn't even a holder of the Aaronic priesthood, let alone cold hold all the keys.  So, I look at Gaia's view of history with skepticism, but also intrigue, but it doesn't shake my faith one inch.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 9:45PM #75
Posts: 636
As to the claims of Smith III, I see no bearing on believing in a so-called blessing given to him by his father.  I think the RLDS made it up to bolster their claims, and as you said, no blessing has been found. ....[/QUOTE]


"...The Prophet apparently gave his son, Joseph Smith III, a blessing, promising him the appointment of presiding patriarch over the eternal family order.

Joseph Smith III later wrote: "My father, in recognition of the teaching of the elders, from the revelations of Christ to the church and legendary, blessed me and conferred the birthright of the priesthood upon me."  fn

This was not an official ordination, but a blessing consistent with the right of Joseph III to receive the powers of the priesthood which Joseph the Prophet had obtained by virtue of his lineage, and subject to the contingent features which governed all such rights within the divine patriarchal order. fn Joseph III expressly denied that he was ordained by his father, the Prophet. When asked about it he said:

"No, sir, I did not state that I was ordained by my father; I did not make that statement. I was not ordained by my father as his successor; according to my understanding of the word ordain, I was not. I was blessed by him and designated, well in a sense chosen, and the word ordain could not be applied in any other sense than by the act of pointing out or indicating only, and he indicated or designated me as his successor, . . . depending as I understood it then, and understand it now, upon good behavior, and upon any subsequent call I might receive."   fn

The Prophet's blessing upon his son in relation to the divine patriarchal order was known to some saints at Nauvoo. Joseph III later wrote that there were those "who looked for the fulfilment of the promise, 'In thee and thy seed shall the kindreds of the earth be blessed,' made to Abraham, and repeated to my father as a revelation and promise to him." fn

But the promise to which Joseph III referred was qualified by three points of vital significance which he either did not consider or else repudiated. First, the rights and promises to which he was a lawful heir as the Prophet's oldest living son pertained primarily to the divine patriarchal order, not merely to the general church. They were the powers, blessings, and promises of Abraham, and they were designed to be conferred through the sacred rites and covenants of the temple, including those of the holy endowment and the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. The Prophet taught that the Church was not fully organized without the temple. fn But Joseph Smith III would not receive and honor any of the sacred rites and covenants of the temple which his father established among the Saints at Nauvoo. In this sense, particularly, the Prophet's son failed to validate his birthright.

Second, the Prophet conferred upon the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles all the keys, powers, and rights to build the kingdom of God on earth. fn This included the full power to teach the gospel to the nations of the earth, to organize and preside over the Church and to develop the divine patriarchal order among the Saints with all its ancient rights and blessings. This meant that after the death of Joseph Smith, the Twelve held the keys of the kingdom of God on earth, and Joseph Smith III would have had to go to them to receive the appointment to which he was an heir in the flesh, and accept from the Twelve the full plan and program of the kingdom which the Prophet gave to them. fn But he chose to alienate himself from the Saints, and he never received the appointment from the Twelve.

Third, the Prophet taught that all the promises and blessings that related to the divine patriarchal order were contingent in nature and depended for their fulfilment upon the faith and perseverance of those to whom they were made. Of Joseph Smith III, Helen Mar Whitney wrote:

In the matter of certain things being pronounced upon the head of young Joseph, they, like all other promises made by the Priesthood, were upon certain conditions. Other persons besides him, who were children of promise, have had great and wonderful things pronounced upon their heads, and they seemed to think that nothing could prevent them from receiving the same in this life, but in many cases these promises have apparently remained unfulfilled. fn

It was tragic that the family of the Prophet did not go west with the Church after his death, but turned away from the eternal family order which Joseph Smith began to institute at Nauvoo. Since the death of Joseph Smith, there has not been a presiding patriarch appointed in the full tradition of Seth, Enoch, and Abraham. fn Like other features of the perfect order of Zion, that presiding office must yet be established in its fulness among the Saints.

(Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973], 543 - 544.)

And from BYU Studies:

"That Joseph Smith intended his descendants to have prominence in the leadership of the Church is apparent from several sources. In an 1841 revelation there was a direct statement concerning Joseph Smith's descendants: "In thee and in thy seed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed" (D&C 124:58). fn Between 1833 and 1843 Joseph Smith called the following members of his family to be General Authorities: his father, his brothers Hyrum and William, his uncle John, his aunt's first cousin, Amasa M. Lyman, his own first cousin, George A. Smith, and several distant cousins. fn In view of revelatory comments about Joseph Smith's descendants and his own efforts to make the hierarchy an extended family, it would be difficult to deny that Joseph Smith may have had plans for elevating his own sons to the highest leadership of the Church.

Whether, in fact, Joseph Smith officially designated his son Joseph III to be his successor has been debated for more than a century. Apostle Lyman Wight, already excommunicated by Brigham Young, wrote a letter to the Strangites in which he said that after Joseph Smith escaped from Liberty Jail in 1839, the Prophet designated "a youth" (possibly Joseph Smith III) to be his successor. fn In 1892 James Whitehead, a member of the RLDS Church, testified that as a private secretary to Joseph Smith, Jr., in Nauvoo, he had personal knowledge of the rights of Joseph Smith III:

I recollect a meeting that was held in the winter of 1843, at Nauvoo, Illinois, prior to Joseph Smith's death, at which the appointment was made by him, Joseph Smith, of his successor. His son Joseph was selected as his successor. . . . He was ordained and anointed at that meeting. Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch, anointed him, and Joseph his father blessed him and ordained him, and Newel K. Whitney poured the oil on his head, and he was set apart to be his father's successor in office, holding all the powers his father held.

Whitehead also stated that this secret ceremony was later ratified by a general meeting at Nauvoo, attended by 3,000 Mormons. fn

There are certain problems with Whitehead's testimony that bear consideration. First, no contemporary minutes of the 1843 ceremony or ratifying meeting are extant. Moreover, no reference to either the 1839 ceremony or the 1843 ceremony has been located in the diaries of the principal men involved, or in the available journals of Joseph Smith's private secretaries. In addition, Whitehead's memory about his own role in Nauvoo seems to have been faulty. Rather than being the only private secretary to Joseph Smith, from 1842 to 1844, Whitehead was a clerk on the Nauvoo Temple building committee and also a clerk in the office of the Trustee-in-Trust. Despite Whitehead's claim that he alone kept Joseph Smith's private journals, letterbooks and correspondence, the journals are in the handwriting of Willard Richards, and the correspondence and letterbooks are in the handwriting primarily of William Clayton, who in fact did serve as the Prophet's private secretary from 1842 to 1844. fnMoreover, in June 1874, Whitehead privately admitted that he did not witness the 1843 ordination of Joseph Smith III, but instead had heard it discussed by others. fn

Nevertheless, there is circumstantial evidence from the Nauvoo period indicating that Joseph Smith III was designated to be the successor of his father. Rumors about the matter were widespread enough to be included in an 1844 published history of Illinois:

"The Prophet," it is said, has left a will or revelation, appointing a successor; and, among other things, it is stated that his son, a lad of twelve years, is named therein as his successor. Of this, however, there is no certainty. fn

One of the source for this vague rumor may have been the patriarchal blessing given to Joseph Smith III by his grandfather, which stated in part: "You shall have power to carry out all that your Father left undone when you become of age." fn On the other hand, these Nauvoo rumors may have derived from the kind of ordination ceremony described by Whitehead. Although there is thus far no conclusive evidence verifying that Joseph Smith III was ordained and anointed as successor in 1843, a letter of 14 June 1845 by George J. Adams seems to refer to such an event:

I have suffered much persecution since I left Boston and much abuse because I cant support the twelve as the first presidency I cant do it when I know that it belongs to Josephs Son-Young Joseph who was ordained by his father before his Death. fn

(The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844 by D. Michael Quinn Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 16 (1975-1976), Number 1 - Autumn 1975 224.)

There is more from various other sources, but i thought this might suffice in at least providing some good discussion , as well as interesting evidence, relative to the topic.

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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 10:03PM #76
Posts: 1,451
(anI do find it interesting, but I also think that if Emma had gone West with the saints, he would have been prophet.  Of that I have no doubt.  Why?  Because Hyram's family did go West and Joseph F. Smith (Hyram's son) became prophet, and Joseph Fielding Smith (son of Joseph F)  Also became prophet, so I do think the prophecies were fulfilled, just not through Joseph Smith III.  I think the blessings of Joseph Smith Jr. were transferred to Hyram's family, and all because his wife was faithful to the Saints, while Emma was not.  Interesting to think how women really did (and do) influence the blessings of God not only to their families, but to the whole church.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 06, 2008 - 11:32PM #77
Posts: 1,785
Another interesting notation from church history that one my or may not find interesting.

Benjamin F. Johnson was a witness in the meeting where Joseph transferred his authority to the twelve Apostles.

Benjamin F. Johnson was one of those present in the conference, after Joseph’s death, when the Twelve had returned, that was assembled where both Rigdon and Young spoke. In his own words, regarding B. Young: “ I saw him arise, but as soon as he spoke I jumped upon my feet, for in every possible degree it was Joseph’s voice and his person, in look, attitude, dress and appearance was Joseph himself, personified; and I knew in a moment the spirit and mantel of Joseph was upon him.”
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 12:15AM #78
Posts: 3,242
[QUOTE=deseretlady;673366]You are right Gaia.  I should think before I post.  I am on very thin ice right now.  I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.  I should not take it out on others.  I apologize to you and to everyone else.[/QUOTE]

Don't worry about it. 

First of all, don't let anything I say trouble you.  I come here to sort things out.  This is not the Debate Board (where the jackals eat each other whole) but it's a mixed bag.  There used to be several related but distinctly different boards:

Mormon Fellowship, which was like going to church.  Everything was positive and celebratory.

Mormon Women - which was like an online Relief Society.

Mormon Issues - which was where the ugly stuff got addressed, but within a kind of circle of trust.

Mormon Debate - which was where the sharks and jets went to rumble.

Now, we're all thrown into one big pocket, with the exception of Mormon Discussion (the PC-friendly title for that demolition derby previously known as Mormon Debate).

It's easy to land on a thread that makes your eyes shoot out of their sockets.
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