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Think About it...
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Chapter Two: 

                ANTI-MORMON LITERATURE...
                                               Truth, or lie? decide.

This chapter is the first investigation in a series of investigations. I begin with the investigation of anti-Mormon literature. Why? Because that’s where this book began for me. I grew up in the church. I was raised by goodly parents who taught me the teachings of this church from the time I was just a babe. I had grown up accepting the idea that this church was true. But when I was sixteen years old, one of my best friends came to me and said, “Sam, do you really believe that Joe Smith story?” Having never been asked that before I said, “Yeah, Doug! I really do!.” Doug replied, “Sam, the only reason you believe that Joe Smith story is because your parents told you to believe it!” I didn’t have an answer for him. He continued with, “The only reason you believe that Book of Mormon or your church to be true is because your parents told you to believe it. In fact, if your parents were any other religion, you would think that religion was true!” He then said,

                    “Sam, I’m amazed that you would believe in a story by some guy
                                                        who has a name of Joe Smith!”

Doug then laughed and walked away and left me standing there, wondering about what he had said. I remember his words as if they were yesterday. I turned and walked away but I couldn’t stop thinking about his comments. How did I know this Church was true? Since that time, I have never stopped investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not afraid to be proven wrong, I decided that I would investigate and know for myself. I have always looked for the evidence, the proof that this Church was true. I’ve also looked for the evidence that it was false.

This book began in early ‘95 and was completed in mid ‘99. During ‘95 and ‘96, Julie and I were called on a stake mission for the LDS Church. This was also a time period when we would find ourselves confronted with more anti-Mormon literature than ever before. It seems there is always someone who wants to tell you something, they bet you didn’t know. In the past, I listened but never said anything and I always went my own way unaffected. But this time was different.

            This time I had to deal with it. ...My family was being attacked.
                          This time, saying nothing
                                         would be suggesting that the anti-Mormons were right.

All my life, I knew there had to be one true church. I have never been able to believe that Christ
taught conflicting teachings or doctrines. I’ve never been afraid of being wrong, and I wasn’t afraid of being wrong now. In fact, I can honestly say that I am more willing to be wrong in my current beliefs, than I am willing to be a member of the wrong church. Therefore I did the only thing I knew how to do. I investigated this Church and the anti-Mormon claims as a police officer would investigate a crime scene. When the police investigate the scene of a crime, we piece together the known facts creating a skeletal picture of what happened. Then we use logic and reasonableness, coupled with an investigative process of elimination of several different hypotheses to fill in the picture and arrive at the truth. And we do that ...from the middle of the road and on no one’s side.

When I started this book, I wrote it more along the lines of the way a police investigation would be presented to a jury and a court of law. In a police investigation, when we find an untruth, part of what we do is to use the suspect’s own words against them. We show: what he said, we prove: that he lied and then we prove: he knew he was lying when he said it. After my investigation of the facts, I was able to prove that the writers of anti-Mormon literature had lied time and time again. So I went after them, proving those three things over and over. Though not everything I read was a lie, there was so much of it that was an obvious lie, that proving their work was propaganda was easier than I expected. I used as my expert witnesses for the prosecution, real (meaning credited) historians.

When I was done, I had a bullet proof case against them. I had caught them in so many lies, they had no place to go. My evidence was so strong against them, that in a court of law, they would have to admit one of two things. A) They had been misinformed in what they said, or B) They were liars. And because they had taken the time to write a book, the presumption could be proven that they had also taken the time to research what they had said. Therefore, getting a guilty verdict from the jury for untruthfulness and intentionally fabricating information, would have been easy. However, I also had a problem. This chapter was too confrontational, and I didn’t want that. So I decided to send the evidence against them through a suppression hearing.

Before every major trial, the defense attorneys will ask for a suppression hearing. In a suppression hearing, the defense will try to prove that the evidence that is going to be presented against the accused, has lost its evidentiary value. Either by arguing that it was obtained improperly due to an illegal search, or that the chain of custody on the evidence was broken or handled improperly by the police, etc. Whatever evidence the prosecution loses in a suppression hearing, cannot be presented to the jury at trial. Let me give you an example of what I mean and why I did it.

Not long ago at about 2000 hrs., I was to meet two officers by the names of Jalyn and Derrell. They were working an order of protection violation where the suspect had beaten up his old girlfriend. In  running the suspect’s name through the computer, we learned he had outstanding felony warrants for one count of assault, three counts of aggravated assault on police officers, one count of escape, one count of forgery and now a new charge of assault/Domestic Violence. Trying to locate him at this address on 3rd. Ave., was just a shot in the dark, but it was all we had. Because we were expecting a physical confrontation, as well as a foot pursuit, we asked the air unit to circle overhead. We parked down the street and quietly walked up. We saw a guy and a girl in the carport.

The guy seemed to fit the general description of the person we were looking for, but he didn’t match the profile of the person we were looking for at all. He was well dressed and well groomed. His demeanor indicated he was very conservative and mild mannered. We asked him his name and it wasn’t the name we were looking for. After a few minutes of questioning, we felt certain he was the wrong guy. We called off the air unit and were about to leave ourselves. He was very polite and cooperative throughout. We apologized for interrupting his evening and before we left, we asked him for some ID. He didn’t have any and so he gave us his information verbally. I went to channel six and ran him. It came back: no record found. I told radio to run it by the SS number. This time, it came back to the right name, right SS number, but different date of birth.

                                     ...oops, we had just caught him in his first lie.

When confronted with the fact that he gave us the wrong DOB, he tried to explain it by telling us some things we already knew were lies. Little by little, we caught him in one small lie after another. Finally we told him that we had enough probable cause to believe that he was the guy we were looking for. We told him he was coming with us and that we were going to the department where we would fingerprint him and identify him that way. As I walked him to the patrol car, he sobbingly said, “This isn’t fair. I’m not the guy you are looking for, but because you came here looking for him and I have a few things in my past that I’m trying to get away from, the guy you’re looking for goes free and I go to jail.” He was weeping and he said it so convincingly, it was hard for me not to believe him and even feel sorry for him.

While at the department, he asked if he could use the bathroom. He seemed like he was taking a long time in there so Jalyn went in after him. Suddenly Jayln realized that his fingertips were bleeding. He had bitten several small chunks of flesh out of six of his ten fingers pads so as to prevent himself from being identified. However, he still had four fingers that he hadn’t gotten to yet. From those four remaining fingers, he was printed and identified by a lazar printer and computer searching system. He was in fact, the suspect we were looking for.

Point #1 is this: He was so convincing, so polite and seemed so sincere, that at first and even
                           throughout, we had a hard time believing he was the suspect we were looking for. It was only because we latched onto him and kept investigating him, that we finally found him out. That is the point with the anti-Mormon propaganda engineers too. They seem so convincing, so polite and so sincere, that at first and sometimes even throughout, it is hard to believe that they could be lying. Yet time and time again, when I latched onto them and continued to investigate them, like the suspect on 3rd Ave, I found each and every one of them out.

                            “The greatest trick the devil ever played,
                                                 was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
                                                                       Kevin Spacey

Point #2 is this: In a court of law, you don’t care if your case is confrontational. Your job
                           is to show the judge and jury the truth about the person you are dealing with. But I didn’t want a confrontational chapter. So even though I could easily prove how grossly inaccurate the anti-Mormons writers were, I subjected this book to a suppression hearing, eliminating the strong confrontational arguments. Fearing it was still too confrontational, I enlisted the aid of others and subjected the book to a second, even a third suppression hearing. I needed to present the facts and I could show where the anti-Mormon engineers had perjured themselves several times in their books, but rather than do a butcher job on the engineers, I decided to explain and demonstrate their tactics so you could recognize them when you see them yourself. ...With that, let’s proceed.

Anti-Mormon literature...

I have read a lot of anti-Mormon literature and I have investigated most of what I have read. Julie and I were invited to a person’s house a while back. A person who “knew the truth” about Mormons. We love and respect the couple that invited us so we went with them. The “expert” lived in Mesa and he gave us directions to his house. I knew the area but followed his directions because sometimes neighborhood streets twist and wind and end without notice.

This was a fairly nice area of town and on the drive to his house we passed several nice homes. When I arrived at his home I was surprised at what difficult directions he gave me. After seeing where he lived I realized that I could have gotten there much easier and faster from a more direct route. But I gave it no more thought at the time. His home was a nice middle class home on the fringe of the upper middle class homes I had passed by. He was a friendly looking fellow, about 50 years old. I honestly felt I would hear some new shocking evidence that I had not heard before. But what I heard not only was an insult to my beliefs (which I was prepared for), but was an insult to my intelligence. Here are a few of his repeatable statements.

He told us he was a convert to the church and that he was made a bishop after one year. He said he had to “sneak to read his Bible because Mormons don’t believe in the Bible.” He said he had to, “Leave it in my bathroom under a stack of magazines and read it when the door was shut.” He told us that he (as a Bishop) “had to read the no more polygamy letter to his congregation.” After more ridiculous statements I finally got up and left. Later, I found out that this guy is fairly popular among local Christian groups and that he goes around giving speeches on the truth about the Mormons! How about that! ...I guess that old cliche is right! Some people will believe anything.

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof
against all argument and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance.
That principle is; ...condemnation, before investigation!”
                                 Herbert Spencer

I am not offended by anti-Mormon statements. They don’t bother me and I was prepared for that. But I wasn’t prepared for his ridiculous absurdities. I thought they would be honest statements and not ridiculous lies! I’m certainly no expert on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he must have thought he was talking to some Mormon who had never gone to church a day in his life and never went to school past the 2nd grade.

          Like a lot of the anti-Mormon literature that I’ve read, his statements
                         were statements that I wouldn’t have believed ...about any religion.

Polygamy stopped over 100 years ago and I don’t have any idea why he had to hide his Bible. The rest of us take them to church with us on Sunday and study from them all the time. Those and the rest of the things he said were as ridiculous as the story the Missourians used to tell about the Mormons when they said, “The Mormons have horns on their head!” Seeing that this guy knew the truth but had no intention of telling the truth, I then realized what he had attempted to do with his complex directions to his house. He had me drive past all the nice homes in the neighborhood to lend credibility to his arguments with his seemingly prosperous lifestyle.

Information can be categorized into four groups. Truth, Lies, Misinformation and Propaganda.
Propaganda is engineered information that is distorted and biased. It is seldom a complete lie and is usually a blend of truth and lies with the intent to mislead the investigator. In order to have a crime, the law says the officer has to show the “culpable mental state” of the perpetrator. Regardless of the act, if it’s accompanying culpable mental state cannot be shown, there is no crime! For example, the verdict: “Innocent by reason of insanity.” In order for misinformation to be propaganda, the engineer has to have an accompanying culpable mental state. The highest culpable mental state as defined by law is: Intent.

Arizona Revised Statutes, Criminal Code, Title 13, section 13-105.9, defines what intent means. It says, “Intentionally; means with respect to a result...that a person’s objective is to cause that result...” Information available about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is found in all four categories of truth, lie, misinformation and propaganda. The information I want to target is in the propaganda category. The culpable mental state of the propagandist is Intent. They will tell you that their intent is merely to help misguided LDS people, or to save others from becoming misguided LDS people. But their actions speak much louder than their words. In fact, their actions speak so loud, that they develop “MO’s” as their real intent becomes identifiable and traceable. In this chapter we will take a look at some skillfully done propaganda. I will not address all of it, I will only be showing you how it is done, and what to look for, when faced with it yourself.

In reading anti-Mormon literature, I have noticed a striking resemblance between one writer and the next writer. It’s as if one writer will read three or four anti-Mormon books and then write his own anti-Mormon book, regurgitating what he read and quoting references from other anti-Mormon writers as his evidence. I’m not being sarcastic, that’s the truth. Most of it focuses on the early beginnings of the Church. There is very little that targets the current Church. In the Book, Behind the Mask of Mormonism on page 372, Ankerberg and Weldon say, (talking about the errors and wrongs of the early Christians after the Council of Nicaea and through the early centuries of Christianity) “Second, the early Christians were hardly perfect, nor did they have centuries of study in systematic theology behind them.” I find that an interesting excuse, especially when they won’t allow The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that excuse.

I am a person who loves history. History books are my favorite books and documentaries are my favorite programs. I especially love history about the American Indians and the Jews. I also have a special place in my heart for battles and especially WWII. Among other things, WWII brought propaganda skills and tactics to an all time high. A little background on how it was used then is essential so you can understand how it is being used now. With a little study, you soon realize that:

When it comes to propaganda, the targets change, ...but the tactics don’t.

The tactics are always predictable and identifiable. They have been used throughout history and they were used very successfully against the American Indians, the Jews and the LDS Church. Let me show you some interesting and historical correlations and parallels between the early Mormons, the American Indians, the Jews and people in general. Remember: When it comes to propaganda, the targets change, but the tactics don’t. That’s why understanding those tactics is so important.

Propaganda stems from hatred and jealousy. The reason Cain killed Abel was because of jealousy. Jealousy, hatred, propaganda and murder, have been with us since the fall of Adam. To give you some background and demonstrate the power of propaganda in our own century, let’s start with Hitler. You can learn a lot about how propaganda and evil works by studying Hitler and his tactics. He used propaganda heavily throughout his life of infamy. Often, he would create a crisis that he could solve and therefore, be the hero as a result of his clever propaganda.

For instance, before WWII actually began, he walked in and took over Austria, Czechoslovakia and the Rheinland without even firing a shot. In fact, he was even hailed as the “Savior of the Sudeten Land” (an image he created himself). He did it while the rest of the world looked on and did nothing about it. Why? Because of his masterful use of propaganda. On 083139 at 2000 hrs., he engineered an attack on a German radio station in the town of Gliewitz, near the Polish border. Four Germans were killed. Left behind were dead concentration camp inmates dressed in Polish uniforms. Hitler blamed the attack on the Polish people. Outraged at their assault and demanding justice, on 090139 at 0445 hrs., Hitler attacked Poland and WWII began.

“The horoscope of time does not show peace, but war.”
                            Adolf Hitler

It’s probably a fair and accurate statement to say that the 20th Century European hatred toward the Jews can be traced to the book, The Protocols Of The Learned Elders Of Zion. It was a propaganda book engineered by Czar Nicholas II of Russia. The book was purported to have been written by the Jews and outlined how they were “going to take over the world.” Even though it was later proven to be an engineered product of Czar Nicholas II, the book generated so much momentum, the Jewish people could not stop the hatred frenzy. The book provided the needed fuel for hatred toward the Jews by Lenin, Stalin and Hitler. That’s how effective propaganda can be. The tactics of propaganda are repeated throughout history every time you find one group of people who hates another group. To the person who is aware of those tactics, the MO is recognized immediately.

During WWII, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda was Paul Josef Goebbels. Goebbels was a polished expert in the use of propaganda. An early Nazi party member, he was responsible for much of the pageantry and propaganda that made Nazism popular. He took control of the national media when Hitler came to power in 1932. I own several old and out of print history books. One of them is a 1948 book translated and written by Louis P. Lochner called, “The Goebbels Diaries.”  It is from, “considerable fragments of Dr. Goebbels diaries” which were found “in the courtyard of his ministry where they had evidently narrowly escaped burning.” Much can be learned from such books. Propaganda is a hate tool. It is always: misinformation, with the intent to mislead and injure. So think about this: Who would use the tactics of propaganda? Someone prompted by the Lord? Or someone prompted by Satan? The fact is, the Lord would have nothing to do with it. Propaganda is fostered and nurtured by the father of all lies, Satan himself!

In the book, Germany Without Jews, by Brent Engelmann, (translated by D.J. Beer) Engelmann talks about the propaganda against the Jews in Russia during WWI. In his book he has a diary entry that outlines the most recent propaganda against the Russian Jews at that time. As you read them, think about some of the anti-Mormon literature you have read. Think about the “expert” that I went to see. The man who had to “leave his Bible in the bathroom and read it when the door was shut.” Notice the logic similarities.

          1. The Jews had taken a coffin for burial, but the coffin had contained not a corpse,
                      but gold for the Germans.
          2. The Jews stuff geese with gold coins and then take them to Germany.
          3. A Jew had suddenly thrown himself to the ground in an epileptic fit, while in reality
                      he had been speaking to the Germans through a secret telephone.
          4. The air-force officers throwing bombs on Russian positions and towns were Jews.”
                      Unknown Russian citizen, Diary entry, Nov. 23, 1914

In the very early stages of WWII, Hitler decided he would nationalize the masses through unrelenting propaganda until he had it shaped into a “superbly organized fighting force.” Hitler’s prime scheme was to gain, maintain, and expand his power through propaganda. “Without propaganda, it is impossible to reach the hearts of the people and fill them with a sense of purpose or mission. In order for propaganda to be effective, you have to teach people a fanatically one-sided doctrine.” (Nazi Germany, Klaus P. Fischer. Italics added) Which is exactly what the anti-Mormons do. They teach a fanatically one-sided doctrine against the LDS Church.

“All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt it’s spiritual level to the
perception of the least intelligent of those toward whom it intends to direct itself...The
more modest, than it’s scientific ballast is, and the more it exclusively considers the
feelings of the masses, the more striking will be it’s success.”
                                            Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf, p232-233

The anti-Mormon literature that I have read contains examples of both good and bad propaganda techniques. In choosing which topics to investigate with you, I selected what I felt were the most popular topics targeted by anti-Mormons. I selected their “Grade A” evidence. As I said before, not all anti-Mormon literature is inaccurate. Some of their literature is accurate. But most of it vacillates between good and bad quality propaganda. I will show you examples of both and I will show you  how to recognize the difference and the techniques used. I will also show you some accurate anti-Mormon statements, as well as some very interesting propaganda techniques that I have found throughout all of the anti-Mormon literature writers I have read.

Misinformation-propaganda... First, let me give you the definition of propaganda. This is from the Macmillan Dictionary, p.802. “Body of doctrines, ideas or attitudes of a particular group promoted, often through public allegation and in a distorted or biased form, in order to influence the point of view of others, gain supporters or damage an opposing group.” Misinformation-type propaganda is the most damaging because it is the most effective. One of the keys to successful propaganda is the truth to lie ratio. If you stretch the truth too much, people won’t believe it. The most believable propaganda is a blend of lots of truth, laced with a few lies. The truth-to-lie ratio is very critical. The goal of the propagandist is to get his point across without having the people question or investigate his statements!

“The Bolsheviks are now dropping forged handbills over the German front...allegedly
issued by the Party of the Propaganda Ministry. They are phrased exceedingly cleverly,
in that they imitate our slang and contain only two or three dangerous points.”
                         Josef Goebbels, Diary entry, May 11th, 1942.

So with that little bit of back ground, let’s begin. In producing propaganda remember that: A successful new scrimmage is better than a failed touchdown. Let me show you a simple example of what I mean. I’m going to give you the same sentence seven times. Each time I will emphasize a different word in the sentence. By doing so I can change the meaning without changing the words. As you read it, emphasize the bold word.

1) I never said he stole the money
2) I never said he stole the money
3) I never said he stole the money
4) I never said he stole the money
5) I never said he stole the money
6) I never said he stole the money
7) I never said he stole the money

See what I’m getting at? This is how easy it is to mislead someone with what you say. If I change, add or delete a word or two in a sentence and do that to one or more sentences in a paragraph, the meaning of the paragraph can completely change. If I am speaking and I add the impression of sincerity on my part, (which Hitler was an artist at) hopefully I can have you believing exactly what I want you to believe, unless you study it out for yourself! However, fortunately for the propagandist most people don’t, and that’s the problem!

How do you know I’m not using propaganda tactics on you in this book?
Because I am asking you to investigate on your own! ...Think about it.

Some anti-Mormon writers are more slanted than others but it’s all pretty much the same topic: the early beginnings of the Church. William J. Mitchell writes a booklet called “A Christian Looks at Mormonism.” He investigates and writes with a very heavy slant. He looks for the facts that support his side of the story only. He also loads it with his own interpretation of the events, giving the reader a lopsided view of things. Sometimes I wish the police could do that!

                    Never a case would be lost in court,
                                          if only one side of the story were allowed to be told!

My biggest book of anti-Mormon literature is by John Ankerberg and John Weldon. It’s called,
“Behind the Mask of Mormonism.” The subtitle is, “From it’s Early Schemes to it’s Modern Deceptions.” Their book ranges from true statements to false statements. From very good propaganda tactics to very poor propaganda tactics and everything in between. Most of what I’ve chosen to example is from this book because it is my biggest and most complete and it comes with the most credits. The elephant in the jungle, you might say. Like I said before, not all negative statements against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are false or are propaganda. What makes a statement propaganda is when the statement is a blend of truth and lie with the intent to mislead. This investigation is based on evidence and reasonableness. If I received such a thing as a fringe benefit in investigating anti-Mormon claims, it was the total absence of fear of it. I didn’t expect that, it just came as a result of seeing what they had done. So like they say on the firing line in Hogan’s Alley, “Keep your eyes open! Don’t get tunnel vision, it could cost you your life!”

Almost all anti-Mormon literature I’ve seen begins with Joseph Smith. Every single aspect of his life was examined and re-examined under the finest microscopes. Any and all short comings are brought to light. Mitchell has done a fairly good job of reporting the negative facts, but uses for some of his reference sources, other anti-Mormon writers. Two things to remember in reading about this type of scrutiny of anyone, is that everyone is human and makes mistakes and the only one in the history of the world who didn’t, ...doesn’t live here anymore.

One of Mitchell’s topics is about Joseph Smith receiving a heavenly vision. Mitchell argues that
Joseph Smith’s two visions came to him while he was alone and we only have his word that they took place and that we are asked to believe that Joseph Smith was telling the truth. Mitchell goes on to say there is “serious difficulty” in believing Joseph Smith because three years after his first vision, Joseph was brought to trial for being a “disorderly person and an imposter.” He further argues that Joseph Smith was charged with being “a glass looker” and that he used a peep-stone to locate hidden treasure. “After due process the court found Joseph guilty of all charges.”

Was Joseph Smith found guilty? I don’t believe so! Why? Two very big reasons. Mitchell offers no proof of his statement or proof of any conviction or even an arrest and where was being “a glass looker” a crime? Mitchell doesn’t offer any information in regards to his statement, so let me help him out. Joseph Smith was brought before Justice Albert Neely on March 20th, 1826. The court document read: “same [The People] vs. Joseph Smith The Glass Looker.” The charge was a misdemeanor, but it doesn’t say for what. The only notes I could find that the Judge left behind for us, were these: “To my fees in examination of the above cause 2.68”

So tell me. Was being “a glass looker” a criminal offense? Or was it an accusation. Let’s take the position that it was a crime and that Joseph Smith was found guilty and investigate it from that point of view. When you investigate that era you find there was a lot of animosity toward Joseph Smith. In fact, Joseph Smith was arrested several times. But does being arrested or found guilty tell the whole story? Can people lie under oath? Let me tell you two quick examples that will require some effort on your part and demonstrate what I’m talking about.

One: I made a traffic stop on a motorcycle once in the 300 block of N. LeSueur. The violator
         stopped in his carport. The stop turned into an argument and the violator ran into the house. I ran after him and with the aid of my Sgt., we pushed the slightly opened door in and took one step inside. The violator was inside the house with a shotgun in hand. Suddenly there was a blast and the center of the door I was standing behind disappeared. The shotgun blast missed my stomach by one foot. Needless to say, that fellow went to jail that day! Inside the living room was an old school friend of mine. At trial my friend was one of the key witnesses. He told the court that I came in threatening the suspect’s life and that the suspect was scared to death and that’s why the suspect shot at us. Other witnesses refuted my friend’s testimony and my friend was later charged with perjury. But he still lied and what if the other witnesses lied too?

Two: Late one night I saw a speeding vehicle. I gave chase and after trying to elude me for
         about four blocks, I backed off. I turned off my overhead lights, kissed him goodbye and cut my speed. The violator kept speeding away. Two blocks later the suspect vehicle ran a stop sign as he crossed an intersection. He did it just as a man and his pregnant wife were crossing northbound in a blue Volvo. The suspect’s vehicle struck the victim’s vehicle in the passenger door, ejecting the wife. The impact threw the man’s wife almost 100 feet and killed her and her unborn child. She was the mother of five. I was almost two blocks away but close enough to watch the impact and the aftermath. I got sued, the City got sued, and we lost. The argument was that if I had not tried to stop the violator in the first place, the violator would not have tried to get away. Even though I had already turned off my top lights, cut my speed and let the violator go, I still lost the suit. Did losing the lawsuit show that I was wrong? You decide!

Susan B. Anthony believed that women should have the right to vote. In 1872, she was arrested and convicted for voting in an election. So tell me. Did the fact that she was found guilty show she was wrong? Did the assumption that Joseph Smith was found guilty show he was wrong?

               Did the fact that Christ was found guilty and legally killed
                                              by the laws of the land, show He was wrong?

Later on, I will show you some of the strong prejudice against Joseph Smith. Some of the proof of that statement are these charges. So keep that in mind. If you read Joseph Smith’s writings you will find that he too complained of his many weaknesses and mistakes. But so did the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to Timothy (I Timothy: 1-15) when he said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.”

So remember that when you read about Joseph Smith. No one’s life, except Christ’s can stand a magnifying glass. No one’s. Everyone is effected by prejudice and hatred. The perfect example is Christ Himself. The Jews hated Him. They followed Him, scrutinizing everything He did and said. Where there wasn’t evidence against Him, they made some up. Finally they felt they had enough to demand His life, and they got it. This is what has been done with Joseph Smith. Every area of his life has been examined by the anti-Mormons. Every detail. When he stumbled, they were there! When he said something he shouldn’t have, they were there! And when there wasn’t evidence against him, they made some up and finally, they took his life.

Anthony A. Hoekema in his book Mormonism, (p11) discredits Joseph Smith by saying that Joseph eloped with Emma after Emma’s father had refused to give his consent to their marriage. He argues that the official Church reason for this is because according to Joseph Smith’s own writings, the persecution which surrounded Joseph Smith was so intense. He argues that Fawn M. Brodie in her biography about Joseph Smith, gave evidence to prove that the real reason for Mr. Hale’s refusal was Joseph Smith’s only occupation was that of “digging for money with the help of a peep-stone.”

The statements by Hoekema are designed to discredit The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by discrediting Joseph Smith. It is designed to make Joseph Smith look like a genuine snake oil salesman type individual. After all, what kind of person goes around trying to find buried treasure with a “peep stone”? But let’s examine the statements a little closer. You have one statement from an autobiography, another statement from a biography with no evidence to prove either statement. Both contradict each other and therefore cancel each other out. It’s an I said-you said statement. If you pride yourself in being a fair-minded judge of things, Fawn Brodie’s statement is not enough for you to make a ruling on. Also, the writer talks about “evidence,” yet offers none. At best, if you rule in favor of Fawn Brodie, with no more than the information she has given, it leaves you with a feeling that you must be missing part of the story. Surely the leader of such a movement wasn’t merely some guy who stared into peep stones looking for buried treasure in peoples’ backyards! Surely a person like that could not have organized a religion that has turned into what it is today, by being the kind of person Hoekema has portrayed him to be! As you investigate, remember to use reasonableness and logic when you listen to, and judge anti-Mormon literature. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not true.

It should be noted that Fawn M. Brodie (now deceased) was a strong anti-Mormon. She, like most other anti-Mormons, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For some personal reason she turned bitter against the Church. She was excommunicated and became an anti-Mormon. She wrote a biography on Joseph Smith called No Man Knows My History. This is the book Hoekema is referring to. The book was so inaccurate it caused Hugh Nibley, Ph.D. to write a book called, No Ma’am, That Ain’t History. In the preface, Dr. Nibley writes,

“When the writer first read Mrs. Brodie’s book 13 years ago (now 9th printing) he was
struck by the brazen inconsistencies that swarm in it’s pages...At the time he had no
means of knowing that inconsistency was the least of the author’s vices, and assumed with
other reviewers that when she cited a work in her footnotes, she had actually read it, that
when she quoted she was quoting correctly, and that she was familiar with the works in
her bibliography. Only when other investigations led the reviewer to the same sources
in ensuing years did the extent of Mrs. Brodie’s irresponsibility become apparent.”

The point is this... Fawn Brodie knew her book was full of errors, but she didn’t care! She is stereotypical of the once Mormon, now anti-Mormon! They are motivated by revenge and hatred. Their intent is to get even, or cause hurt for some supposed valid reason. Secondly, Brodie’s book was written in 1945. The Anthony Hoekema book has a copyright date of 1963. The one I have has a reprint date of 1975, thirty years after Brodie’s book. Plenty of time for Hoekema to have found out that Brodie’s book was filled with errors. So why did Hoekema quote Brodie’s book as a credible reference? I can only guess! ...Think about it.

I used to feel anger toward the once Mormon, now anti-Mormon, but I don’t anymore. I feel sorrow. I also understand them and their motives. I’ve seen a lot of marriages of my friends begin in love and end in hate and bitter words. I’ve even seen them spread lies about their mate in an attempt to hurt them. Or in their eyes, get even. This is usually the case with the once Mormon, now anti-Mormon. The more I investigate, the more I know for a surety that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and the stronger my testimony becomes. And the more I realize what the anti-Mormon has done to himself. Here is one example of what I’m talking about.

Thomas Marsh was once an apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a close friend of Joseph Smith. He was sharing the milk from a cow with another family. The two wives began to argue over who was getting more of what. The issue over the milk striplings led to a hearing and the Marsh family was ruled against. Thomas felt he was ruled against unfairly and the issue grew until he left the church and for a while, he became an anti-Mormon. Years later he wrote a letter to Heber C. Kimball, his friend and associate member of the Quorum of the Twelve. (Apostle). It’s rather sobering. This is what he said.

“Having lost my wife three years since, I began to awake to a sense of my situation;
..I know that I sinned against Heaven and in thy sight and have rendered myself
unworthy of your confidence; or of a place in the family of Heaven...I deserve no
place among you in the church even as the lowest member; but I cannot live long
so without a reconciliation with the 12 and the Church whom I have injured.
The Lord could get along very well without me and He has lost nothing by my falling
out of the ranks; but O what have I lost?! Riches, greater riches than all this world...”
                                               Thomas B. Marsh

Here’s an interesting piece of journalism! It’s on page 51 of Ankerberg’s book. Speaking about
Joseph Smith they state that Joseph had a “secret Council of Fifty” to ordain him as “King on Earth” and that the council wanted him to run for President of the United States. There is a footnote at the bottom of the page and it states, “Some scholars” believed that Joseph Smith was trying to “rule the United States as its King.” (Does that accusation sound familiar?) There is a reference as to where this information came from. I looked it up and the source was ...another anti-Mormon writer.

Well, pray tell! Who are these scholars! Hitler used the same tactic to incite the Germans against the Jews. He told the people that he had uncovered a plot by the Jews and that the Jews were plotting to take over the world. ...Interesting similarity, don’t you think?

The Secret Council of Fifty?

The “Council of Fifty” was formed in Nauvoo in 1844. It’s formation was to provide a pattern of  government that was guided by the Holy Priesthood and revelation. Its formal name was the “Living Constitution.” It became known as the Council of Fifty because of the number of members. The beliefs of the members were consistent with the “ethics of scripture and with the protections and responsibilities of the Constitution of the United States.” Three of the original fifty men were non Mormons. It disappeared as a functioning body after the westward migration. (The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p.326-327)

An Apostasy ?

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the
foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the
only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, which I, the Lord, am well
pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually.” (D&C 1:30)

Joseph Smith is constantly attacked for his claim of starting the Lord’s true church. He is constantly attacked for even suggesting that there is just one true church and that there was an apostasy in the first place. Anti-Mormon writers try to prove that Mormons are not even Christians so how could Mormonism be the Lord’s true church? A lot of time is spent by them trying to prove this issue. One of their “proofs” is a quote by Orson Pratt. (one of the Apostles for Joseph Smith) In Ankerberg and Weldon’s book it’s found on p.67. It’s a January 1854 issue of The Seer. This is what the article said. (Speaking about the Christianity that arose after Christ and the Apostles were gone.)

“A set of wicked apostates, murderers, and idolaters, who after having made war with
the saints, and overcame them, and destroyed them out of the earth, were left to follow the
wicked imaginations of their own corrupt hearts, and to build up false churches.”

Another one of the anti-Mormon “proofs” is this quote by Joseph Fielding Smith (tenth President and Prophet of the Church).

“For hundreds of years the world was wrapped in a veil of spiritual darkness, until
there was not one fundamental truth belonging to the plan of salvation that was not,
in the year 1820 so obscured by false tradition and ceremonies, borrowed from
paganism, as to make it unrecognizable, or else it was entirely denied.”

Here’s another quote. Another “proof” from Joseph Fielding Smith, same issue, same page.

“By heavenly direction and command of our Lord Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith restored all
these principles in their primitive beauty and power...True Christianity, so far as the latter
days are concerned, is very young, for it has only been since 1830 that the Church of
Jesus Christ has been organized on the earth, and the gospel restored.”

Their intent is to try and prove that we believe there is but one true church, and that it is
“Mormonism.” Also, that we are trying to prove that their church is false, when ours is the new kid on the block, so to speak. And theirs, or “real Christianity”, has been around since Christ’s time. They claim that “how could Christianity have been lost to the world?” And “how could Mormonism be the true church?” Especially when “...the Mormons don’t even believe in Christ!”

One thing I want to point out is that we are always referred to as Mormons. The word Mormon is a nickname given to us by early non-members and it stuck. It’s not offensive but it is not the name of the church. The name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To someone who doesn’t know anything about the LDS Church, the words Mormon and Mormonism are extremely misleading. The anti-Mormons use them because to the unknowing, it sounds like we are one of the non-Christian religions that believe and follow a prophet named Mormon. Like the religions of Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism. They all teach good principles, but they are all non-Christian religions. On p.41 of Hugh Nibley’s book he says, “In all her account of the evolution of things, Brodie never once mentions the true name of the Church, though great importance has always been placed upon it by the Mormons...The name describes a very specific thing and implies an unvarying and uncompromising program. It is undeviating and unshakable firmness of the prophet following a single line...”

If you will take the time to go to your public library and investigate these quotes by Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith, you will find that these three quotes are not only accurate quotes, they are accurate statements. However, the anti-Mormons have taken them out of context with the hope of inferring the authors meant something different than what they did mean. They are talking about the falling away from the true Church as Christ established it. Look up and investigate the early years of Christianity and compare them to Bible teachings. After Christ was crucified, the Christians were persecuted severely. After Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire, ...seemingly everyone else was persecuted severely. Even to death. Thousands, perhaps millions were killed. To argue that there was no apostasy is to say Christ had a hand in those things.

            No apostasy they say? ...Impossible!
                                 ...Unless, ...Christ completely changed His
                                                          teachings and tactics after His crucifixion!

If Jesus Christ is in fact: “Jesus the Christ, Savior of the world,” then with an apostasy, there would have to be a restoration! In Matthew Chapter 13: 24-30 Jesus tells a parable to the people. Read it carefully:

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying. The kingdom of heaven is likened unto
a man which sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed
tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought
forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said
unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that
we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up
also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the
harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in
bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

What are the tares and what are the wheat? A tare is a weed that looks like wheat, so it can’t be the non-Christian religions, they look nothing like Christianity. The wheat is obviously the Lord’s true church. It can’t be merely all good Christians from all sects, or the parable wouldn’t make sense because then there would be confusion in the house of the Lord with no one knowing what to believe. It has to be the look alike Christian churches. Those that draw near to Him with their lips but not in deed. Those that profess His name, but don’t do things the way He wants things done. The whole point of the parable is the look alike product in the field. So tell me, which one better fits the parable? Here’s another scripture that I believe proves my point and one I have also found in Ankerberg and Weldon’s book. They say it proves we are an anti-Christian church of the devil.

Let’s look at it. It’s Matthew chapter 7:21-23;

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that
day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out
devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And I will profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

This parable, like the other, is not about non-Christian religions! It can’t be. They don’t believe in Christ; they have never cast out devils in the Lord’s name, prophesied in the Lord’s name, or done many wonderful works in the Lord’s name or anything else in the Lord’s name. So, it can’t be them. He’s talking to somebody in the Christian world. So either Christ is saying that all Christian religions are good, and you can believe, worship, teach, baptize, think whatever you want, etc., or there is one true church and He is talking about the other Christian religions not of His fold, but which profess to be of His fold. Which one fits the parable?

Is it possible that scripture is referring to individuals who profess to be good Christians and not the actual churches themselves? That’s a possibility, but only if you can believe that there is disorder and confusion in the House of the Lord. Think! Christ said we must do the will of the Father in order to gain entrance to the kingdom of God. Well how can we do the will of the Father if we can’t agree on what it is? Either God is confused, or we are confused. ...Which is it?

Are Mormons Christians?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is constantly attacked by accusations of being non-Christian. As “proof,” the anti-Mormon writers quote statements made by early Church leaders like these; (this is Ankerberg and Weldon quoting us on page 91 of their book. Notice how they selectively quote just the exact words, to infer the exact inference they want to infer).

“We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense...And the Devil could
not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the 19th century.”
John Taylor. Third President-Prophet of the Church. Journal of Discourses, 6:167

Let’s look this quote up and read more of the quote shall we? It’s an eight page talk given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Sunday morning, January 17, 1858. Here are a few surrounding paragraphs.

“What is God going to do, to set the world right? We are the people who are called to do
Him His work; and if so, He must put us right...Yes, we are that people, with all our faults,
our foibles, and vanities. We do acknowledge the hand of God; we do acknowledge the
Prophet of God and the teachings of the Most High, and we do feel willing to be governed
by those teachings. We must first learn submission to the will of God ourselves...
We must see that we ourselves first learn obedience, and then teach others...”

“There is no nation now that acknowledges the hand of God; there is not a king, potentate,
nor ruler that acknowledges Him His jurisdiction. We talk about Christianity, but it is a
perfect pack of nonsense. Men talk about civilization...Myself and hundreds of the Elders
around me have seen it’s pomp, parade, and glory’ and what is it? It is a sounding brass
and tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine
to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.”

“How are the nations going to be redeemed? How is the Kingdom of God going to be
planted upon the earth? ...How is it going to be done? I answer, these things will be accomplished by the guidance of the Lord through Him His Prophets...If we pursue a
right course and magnify our calling before God, then everything else will be right, for
surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets to his servants the
Prophets. Sectarians profess to believe in the Bible, but they will not let the Lord have
any prophets. But we will listen and try to keep the commandments of our God.”

“Brethren, I pray that God may bless us, enlighten our minds, lead us in the way of truth,
and save us in Him His Kingdom, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

What John Taylor is saying is that the Christians of his era professed Christianity but look at their actions. Look at the persecutions they put others through who do not believe as they believe? All in the name of real Christianity. What the anti-Mormon writers are trying to infer with their partial quote is that Mormons don’t believe in Christianity period. But notice John Taylor’s statement just before he says “We talk about Christianity...” he said, “There is no nation now that acknowledges the hand of God; there is not a king, potentate, nor ruler that acknowledges Him His jurisdiction.” Isn’t it interesting how the whole meaning changes of what John Taylor said when you look at more of what he said. Isn’t it also interesting how selective of his words they were. So tell me. This example, like the others I’ve shown you about partial quotes, are not mistakes. Is it propaganda? You decide. The words quoted were the exact words used by President John Taylor. But they selectively chose the exact words to infer the exact inference they wanted you to believe, AND, the meaning they wanted you to believe is not the meaning the speaker was conveying to the audience.

Interesting newspaper articles...

Here’s a really interesting statement. Look at the tactics and decide for yourself if it’s propaganda. On p.70 of Ankerberg and Weldon’s book they write:

Furthermore, The Salt Lake Tribune, February 2, 1975 revealed that the
“frequency of adultery...and the number of illegitimate births...have reached
an appalling figure” within the Utah Mormonism.

Notice the sentence structure. The whole thing is a quote, but I didn’t use quote marks because I needed to use their quote marks to show what they did. This is exactly how the sentence reads in their book. The italics portion of the sentence is to give power and authority to their reference. In other words, “The Salt Lake Tribune said...” The same with using the date, but here’s the trick. Notice that the actual quote from the paper is, “Frequency of adultery...and the number of illegitimate births...have reached an appalling figure.” That is the obvious totality of the newspaper quote. That statement does not indicate if they are talking locally, statewide, nationwide, some other country or worldwide. Ankerberg and Weldon added the words: within the Utah Mormonism. The quote marks stop at the word: figure. Most people don’t catch the quote mark placing, and read the sentence as one complete quote. That, “the frequency of adultery and the number of illegitimate births have reached an appalling figure within the Utah Mormonism.” ...Interesting isn’t it?

The actual quote does not say anything specific at all. Yet with the italicized newspaper name, the newspaper quote, and with the last four words added to the quote, you have taken a broad statement and now have a completely narrowed statement directed at one group of people. Had the newspaper article actually targeted the Utah Mormons, the newspaper quote would have included that, and Ankerberg and Weldon would not have added the words, “within the Utah Mormonism” after their quote mark. The overall statement gives the feeling that honest facts are being presented and the facts are surrounded by an honest statement. Hitler was good at clever newspaper articles like that too. Here’s one of his examples of honest facts being presented and surrounded by an honest statement.

“The National Church of the German Reich declares that the greatest written
document of our people is the book of our Fuhrer, Mein Kampf. It is completely
aware that this book incorporates not only the greatest but also the purest and
truest ethics for the present life of our people.”
                                     Manchester Guardian, May 6th. 1936. (occupied Prague)

So what did the Salt Lake Tribune article actually say? I don’t know! I ordered the paper through the library system and read through everything twice that was even remotely close to that topic and couldn’t find it. My brother read through it twice and my wife read through it as well and they couldn’t find it either. I have to believe that it’s not there at all. However, I did learn three interesting things: In 1975 you could buy a VW Beetle (aka: The Bug) for only $2,695 and fresh top quality beef was only .68 cents a pound. But even more interesting than that, and what made the whole effort worth while, was an article about a guy named, “Hiroo Onoda.”

Onoda was a WWII Japanese soldier that was stationed on the Philippine Island of Lubang in 1944. He was told by his division commander, “Whatever happens, we’ll come back for you.” He told his commander, “I will fight till that day comes.” The war ended for Japan on 090245, when they signed their surrender on the USS Battleship Missouri. Twenty-nine years later, true to his word, Onoda was still standing his post on the island of Lubang. One day in 1974, Onoda’s division commander returned to the island, and with the aid of loud speakers, went around the island calling for all Japanese soldiers under his command to surrender. Onoda came forth and surrendered his weapon. What an incredible story! What incredible honor! To think that a soldier taking orders, would remain true to his word regardless of the hardships he suffered, and would stand his post until his commander returned thirty years later, and ordered him to stand down.

            “For thirty years on Lubang, I had polished my rifle everyday...
                                For thirty years, I had thought I was doing something for my country.”
                                                                                 Lt. Hiroo Onoda

                         To Lt. Hiroo Onoda of the WWII Japanese Army, ...I salute!

Joseph Smith’s “Civil War Prediction”

In 1832, Joseph Smith received a revelation quite often referred to as the “Civil War prediction.” Anti-Mormon writers and lecturers attack Joseph Smith constantly for this “prediction.” Let’s take a look at it. William J. Mitchell, in his book, A Christian Looks at Mormonism, says that Joseph Smith predicted the Civil War. He says, “Yet thousands of Americans in 1832 already knew the war was coming just from their intelligent analysis of the current political situation...” He says that what is even more serious is that Joseph Smith said the war would draw Great Britain and other nations into the war creating great destruction and famine. He finishes with, “Yet this never came to pass.”  Well, let’s start with the prophecy itself. It’s found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 87.

“Verily thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass,
beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate at the
death and misery of many souls; And the time will come that war will be poured out upon
all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against
the Northern States and the Southern States will call on other nations even the nation of
Great Britain as it is called, and they shall call upon other nations...and then war shall be
poured out on all nations. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up
against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. And it shall come to
pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall
become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.”

This is the passage that Mitchell is referring to. So let’s look at history and see what happened.
Joseph Smith gave this prophecy, or prediction if you prefer, in 1832. In 1861 there were eleven states that seceded from the Union. Eleven of the existing 34 states. Of the eleven that seceded in 1832 when Joseph Smith gave this prophecy (or prediction), Texas, Arkansas and Florida were not even states yet. Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina had been states for 44 years. North Carolina for 43 years. All four were part of the original 13 colonies. Tennessee had been a state for 36 years, Louisiana for 20 years, Mississippi for 15 years and Alabama, 13 years!

That’s pretty soon to already be dissatisfied and want a war, don’t you think?

Mitchell says that, “Thousands of Americans in 1832” already knew that the war was coming just from their “intelligent analysis of the current political situation.” Well that’s an interesting statement! I wonder how he backs that up? In 1832, three of the states were not even states yet, and three others had less than 20 years in the Union! How did the intelligent, politically aware people of the day in 1832 know that almost 30 years from then, war between the states was going to begin and South Carolina was going to secede first and throw the first blow?

According to The Southwestern Company Authoritative Reference Book on page 2203, “At the outset of the war, the North and South each proclaimed confidence in gaining victory in a short war-90 days perhaps.” If the rumor of war was in the air 30 years prior to the war, why did both sides feel it was only going to be just a, “90 days perhaps,” war? In the prophecy, or prediction, Joseph Smith states the war will “eventually terminate at the death and misery of many souls.” Well, according to Time Life Books, Master index:

“The economic and social devastation wrought by four years of civil war was immense, and
the effects long lasting. America’s bloodiest conflict cost nearly 1,100,000 casualties and claimed more than 620,000 lives...estimates...wartime clashes in excess of 10,000”

Mitchell argues that what is far more serious, is the part of the “prediction” where Joseph Smith said that the war would draw Great Britain and other nations into the conflict, causing great destruction and famine and yet it never happened. Well, what Joseph Smith actually said was, “The Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States and the Southern States will call on other Nations even the nation of Great order to defend themselves and then war shall be poured out on all nations.” Let’s take another walk through Time Life Books, The Civil War series. In doing so, we learn that the south did go to Great Britain for help and received arms. And that Great Britain was even considering breaking the Union blockade around the southern seaports for the south. The south even put an embargo on cotton to England, hoping it would force England into the war. The “Trent Affair” was expected to do more for the Southerners than ten victories. “Benjamin Moran was convinced that nothing but a miracle could prevent Lord Palmerston from getting up for war...” Britain’s Navy went on alert and 11,000 British troops were deployed to Canada.

Fighting broke out between Texas and Mexico, and Mexico and the French Government. War on the frontier was made even more difficult for President Lincoln by “French adventurism” south of the Texas Border. Napoleon, shocked by the French setback at Puebla, dispatched three battalions of vaunted Foreign Legion to Mexico. “Three confederate commissioners had been sent abroad before the outbreak of hostilities to negotiate treaties of commerce and to secure diplomatic recognition from Britain, France, Belgium, Spain and Russia...”

Over 200,000 Germans served in Northern armies, 50,000 Englishmen, 50,000 Canadians and over 150,000 Irishmen. In fact, the Irish made up the majority of at least twenty federal regiments. The French residents of New York made up the 55th New York. The 15th Wisconsin was all Scandinavian. The South went to the Europeans for loans with the largest being the Erlinger Loan for fifteen million. So on and so on! I guess the Civil War was a little more complex than we first thought, wouldn’t you say? The part of the prophecy concerning, “...slaves shall rise up against their masters...” Did you ever see the movie, “Glory”? It was based on a true story. It was about the “Fighting 54th.” The Civil War was more complex than most people realize. In fairness, the term “foreign born volunteers” obviously means now immigrants or new immigrants. Many came to America just for the war and or, the spoils of war.

Joseph Smith said in the prophecy that, “The wars that will shortly come to pass beginning with the rebellion of South Carolina, and the time will come when war will be poured out on all nations.” Well, let’s take a look around the world and see what happened. I started with the year 1861, because that is the year South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter. April 12th, 1861 at 0430 hrs. Thirty-five hundred cannon rounds were fired at Fort Sumter before Col. Anderson surrendered.

          “In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine,
                    is the momentous issue of civil war. We are not enemies, but friends.
                                           We must not be enemies.”
                                                     President Abraham Lincoln, March 4th, 1861

                    “The audience was large and brilliant.
          Upon my weary heart was showered smiles, plaudits and flowers,
                    but beyond them, I saw trouble and thorns innumerable.”
                                                               President Jefferson Davis
                                                               to his wife, February 18th, 1861

                   “Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God,
          and each invokes His aid against the other...
                                 The prayers of both could not be answered...
                                             The Almighty has His own purposes.”
                                                                   Abraham Lincoln, March 4th 1865

Fort Sumter was the match in the haystack for the Civil War. So I started from there and began
counting the wars or major military battles between countries. I picked a twenty-five year period from 1861 to 1886. In doing so, I counted eighty (80) separate wars or major military conflicts. I used as my source, the Timelines of War, by David Brownstone and Irene Franck (p340-365). I think eighty wars or major battles in a twenty-five year period is rather significant, don’t you? But there are two reasons why I chose this time period.

One: It shows that war really was poured out upon the land. Maybe not every piece of land
         and not all the time, but remember the words of Joseph Smith? “And the time will come when war will be poured out upon all nations beginning with this place.” He’s talking about a series of wars, beginning with this war. I chose that twenty-five year period but the wars and rumors of wars did not stop there, they continue ...still.

“The estimated dead of men, women and children from wars in
our century alone, is well over: one hundred million and rising.”
                   Edward Hermann, for the History Channel. 060997-1158 hrs.

Two: To me the saddest battle of them all, not including the Civil War which also took place
         during that time, was the twenty-five year battle with the American Indians. The twenty-five years from 1861 to 1886 were probably the darkest and bloodiest years in American Indian history, not including the era after the arrival of Cortes in 1519.

“Our land melting away like the snow.”
                                     Chief Red Cloud, 1866

“I want a place where my people won’t die so soon.”
                              Chief Joseph, 1887

“It has been to the everlasting disgrace of the Indian,
that he allowed the Mayflower to land!”
                  Will Rogers

Compare the words said by Joseph Smith, to actual world events. ...Where is the discrepancy?
Interestingly, Joseph Smith was not the only person in recorded history to receive a revelation about  the future event that would be called: The Civil War. George Washington did also. During the battle of Valley Forge in the winter of 1777, he received a vision showing three great battles that would be fought on our land. The first was his battle, the American Revolution. The Second was the Civil War. The third battle as quoted by the angel, would be “The most fearful.” George Washington saw “vast armies devastate the whole country.” He saw “cities burning” and heard the “cries of millions in mortal combat.” The angel said, “Let every child of the Republic learn; to live for his God, his land and the Union.” George Washington’s vision is recorded in the Library of Congress.

“Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced
and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same
moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our
national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens
attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined in inhabitants of
America, who I perceived were well nigh overcome, but who immediately taking
courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle.”
                                   General George Washington. Valley Forge, 1777

“I have more to boast of...”

One of the statements Joseph Smith made that is constantly used against him by anti-Mormons is this one. I’ve seen it numerous times and the anti-Mormons use it, saying that Joseph Smith “was an arrogant braggart, unworthy to be called a Prophet of God” Here it is:

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever
been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority
of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did. I boast
that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him,
but the Latter Day Saints never ran away from me yet.”

That statement by Joseph Smith was made on Sunday, May 26th 1844, (32 days before he was killed) during a church service at 1000 hrs. (The minutes by Thos Bullock.) During the church service, a mob interrupted the meeting and Joseph Smith had to deal with it. He was reading from II Corinthians about the Apostle Paul. The above quote was made as a continuation from the quote below that anti-Mormons always leave out. (Funny how they continually do that.) Before making the above statement, Joseph Smith also said,

“I, like Paul have been in perils, and oftener than anyone in this generation. As Paul
boasted, I have suffered more than Paul did. I should be like a fish out of water, if I were
out of persecution. Perhaps my brethren think it requires all this to keep me humble...If
they want a beardless boy to whip all the world, I will get on the top of a mountain and crow
like a rooster. When facts are proved, truth and innocence will prevail at last...In all these
affidavits, indictments, it is all of the devil...Come on! Ye prosecutors! Ye false swearers...
I have more to boast of than ever any man had...” Then it continues on as above.

So, was Joseph Smith bragging? That’s possible! But it’s far more probable that he’s being flippant! At most, he was taunting the mob. I say that because it’s rather obvious that he’s directing that comment at the mob. There are two pieces of evidence that indicate that.

One: That speech took place during a Sunday service. The mob interrupted the service, forcing
         Joseph Smith to deal with the mob and their interruption.
Two: Notice the statement he makes before he tells them he has more to boast. He says;
         “Come on! Ye persecutors! Ye false swearers!”

But remember that little trick I showed you with the sentence; “I never said he stole the money?” What Joseph Smith actually meant by that statement depends on the inflection in his voice. The words were recorded, but the inflection wasn’t. Based on the totality of what we have, it more than suggests he’s just being flippant! But don’t be too hard on him, Joseph Smith was a farm boy with only three years of formal education. He was honest and frank and at times it caused him a lot of grief. The more I learn about him the more I like him, and yes, I think he was a true Prophet of God. He wasn’t perfect and he never said he was. He was the Lord’s prophet at that time. Our prophets are the Wheel Men, the Straw Boss, the Mouth Piece or as the Sioux Indians say, the Shirt Wearer. 

Some people have a problem with the fact that Joseph Smith could have made any mistakes at all. Why? All through the Bible there was never a prophet who did not look like and come from the general populous. All the prophets in the Bible lived in the neighborhood someplace, worked for a living, caught colds, etc. They all made mistakes and were not accepted by the majority of the people! In fact, show me one prophet in the Bible who was any different than Joseph Smith! Joseph Smith was an ordinary man who was called from among the people. He felt inadequate, unworthy, made mistakes and the majority of the people did not accept him!

Still other people can’t accept the fact that God would have gone to such a common person as Joseph Smith. However, God picking a common person for His work is not inconsistent either. When God chose the slayer of Goliath and leader of the Jews, He didn’t choose the mightiest man in Israel! He chose a young shepherd boy. When God needed a prophet in Moses’ time, He didn’t go to Pharaoh or any recognized religious leader of the day. When God chose a successor to Moses, He chose Joshua. A commoner and a former slave. When God chose the birth place of His Only Begotten Son, He didn’t choose a king’s bed in a king’s mansion. He chose a manger in a stable. When God chose the earthly father of Christ, He didn’t choose an earthly king, He chose a carpenter. When Christ chose His apostles, He didn’t choose any of the Pharisees, He chose fishermen. In fact, Joseph Smith fits the historical profile of God’s servants. Picking someone like Joseph Smith to be the prophet, is more consistent with the way the Bible showed God did things, than inconsistent. Christ didn’t select his servants from among the wealthy, the popular or even the highly learned. Everyone He chose shared three common denominators. They were the pure in heart, they were willing to do what was right and they loved God.

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only
polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with some-
thing else, striking with accelerated force against religious bigotry...lying editors, suborned judges and jurors, and the authority of perjured executives...knocking off a corner here and
a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft
in the quiver of the Almighty...” (HC 5:401)
                 Joseph Smith

Propaganda is heavily slanted, even fabricated information engineered specifically to injure someone else. The engineers of anti-Mormon literature know LDS history. So why do they tell you information that is heavily slanted, even fabricated about Joseph Smith? ...Good question!

Anti-Mormon literature has several quotations from One Mormon; a prominent Mormon; or, a
devout Mormon. Who are those people? No one seems to know. But let me give you some quotes from some people or newspapers that do have evidentiary value and can be traced.

A letter from Mathew L. Davis, (Portions only. It’s a long letter.)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Feb. 6th, 1840

My Dear Mary,

“I went last evening to hear Joe Smith, the celebrated Mormon, expound his doctrine. I, with
several others, had the desire to understand his tenants as explained by himself...He is not an
educated man, but he is a plain, sensible, strong minded man...He said, ‘I will state you our belief so far as time will permit.’ He then spoke rationally of the attributes of Divinity, such as
foreknowledge, mercy, etc. etc. He then took up the Bible. I believe he said ‘In this sacred
volume.’ In it the Mormon faith is to be found. We teach nothing but what the Bible teaches. ‘We believe nothing, but what is to be found in this book.”

“During the whole of his address...There was much in his precept, if they were followed, that
would soften the asperities of man towards man...There was no violence, no fury...His religion
appears to be the religion of meekers, lowliness, and mild persuasion...Towards the close of his
address, he remarked that he had been represented as pretending to be a Savior, a worker of
miracles, etc. All this was false. He made no such pretensions. He was but a man, he said, a
plain untutored man, seeking what he should do to be saved...I have changed my opinion
of the Mormons. They are an injured and much abused people.” (HC 4:78-80)

James Leithead

“I first saw the Prophet Joseph Smith at a conference held in Canada...I had the privilege
of seeing and hearing him almost daily, living in the same town. I can truthfully say I never heard
or saw anything in his conduct but what was in accordance with strict morality. He was cleanly in his person, temperate in his habits, drank no intoxicants, used neither tea, coffee, or tobacco, used no bad vulgar language, was honest and upright, taught his followers correct principles, to be honest and virtuous and keep the commandments of God. In fact I never heard anything fall from his lips but what was pure and good. He taught the Gospel of Christ. He was not only a teacher, but a restorer. This is my testimony, and my testimony is true.”
(Shaun Jeffs’ family history)

Benjamin Brown

“My family, with myself, were also taken sick, and I laid so for two or three weeks. I was so far
gone that I was quite senseless, and all thought I was dying. Doubtless I should have died, but one day Joseph Smith was passing by my door, and was called in, and, as I was afterwards informed, laid his hands upon me, and commanded me to rise and walk in the name of the Lord. The first thing I knew was that I found myself walking on the floor, perfectly well, and within ten minutes afterwards I was out of the house visiting my daughter...This man, Joseph Smith, was the one that the world says was an impostor, and a false prophet. Was it the power of imagination over the body that cured me when I did not even hear Joseph’s voice until I found myself well? The honest in heart will judge righteously.” (Susan Udall family history)

So, who do we think Joseph Smith was? An ordinary man with unordinary integrity who was
           called to be the prophet of the Lord. Just like all the ordinary men of old, who had
           unordinary integrity and who were called to be prophets for the Lord. 

Do we worship him? No! Like all the other prophets in history, he was a man selected by the
            Lord to be His prophet on earth during a particular time period.

Do we look up to him? Absolutely! As we do all of the Lord’s prophets. And we don’t
           apologize for that, and we don’t apologize for him. Joseph Smith made some mistakes.
           Nobody will tell you he was perfect. But if you will read more than just the anti-Mormon
           literature about him, you will find that he was actually an outstanding man with
           outstanding values and character. I challenge you to compare your own character with
           his. See  how you measure up against “the great Mormon prophet”. He was honest,
           fair, and kind. He could be counted on and he sacrificed everything to follow the Lord
           and in the end, it cost him his life.

“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret
unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

The book Behind The Mask Of Mormonism has several paragraphs similar to this one in it. “From Mormon and other credible sources, primary documentation can be supplied for numerous examples of...” and “For example, a formerly devout Mormon wrote in 1875 that Missouri...” When you see literature like that, ask: who are they? When it says “primary documentation can be supplied...” ask: where is it? You will almost always notice that their reference is another anti-Mormon writer. The fact that we are dealing with an anti-Mormon writer, with an intent to discredit the Mormons, believe me,

                            if there was such documentation, it would be supplied!

                    The fact that his evidence is not supplied, is proof that it does not exist!
          After all, he came with the intent to discredit the LDS Church,
                                             so why would he leave his evidence at home?

                          “Propaganda is not a mistake. It’s an intentional act!”
                                                       Josef Goebbels, Diary entry, Feb. 22. 1933

Any time an anti-Mormon writer quotes another anti-Mormon writer, you can count on it being their best shot. If they actually had credible sources from real history and real historians, those references would be stapled to the front, back, and all throughout the book. Think about it! They won’t quote a lesser reference if they have a greater reference. And, if they had evidence, they would present it. So remember folks, the Missourians were telling people, “the Mormons had horns,” too!


William J. Mitchell in his book, A Christian Looks At Mormonism, makes this comment on page 47. He says that non-Mormons are not allowed to see the inside of the temples. He argues that in itself, added to the “performance of secret, mystical rites” gives the LDS religion an air of mystery which attracts membership because it appeals to “certain types of people” and gives them a “feeling of superiority” over their neighbor. ...Interesting remark. Actually the Church doesn’t allow a lot of Mormons in there either. The temples are not secret, they are sacred. Entrance requires above average conduct in your personal, professional, family and religious life. Can you lie about your conduct and get in? Sure! But who’s getting fooled?

However, you might find it interesting to know that before any of the LDS temples are dedicated, approximately a week of tours is given to the general public and non members are encouraged to come. I encourage you to go to any of the LDS Temple Visitor Centers located on most temple grounds. They are open to the public. They will tell you all about the temples, show you pictures of the inside and probably answer more questions than you can think of. It costs you nothing, they will treat you with the utmost kindness and you will leave with a very warm feeling in your heart. But one of the big questions I have had all my life is, “Why does the rest of the Christian world have a hard time accepting the idea of temples?” They are mentioned all throughout the Bible! Christ talked about them, worshiped in them and taught from them. The temples ceased to exist when the Bible ended. The Bible ended when Christ, His Apostles, and the Church were finally destroyed. Perhaps the reason the rest of the Christian world has such a hard time accepting the idea of temples is because the church that grew up out of the dust of Christ’s Church didn’t have temples and didn’t believe in temple ordinances. ...Maybe that should be a clue!

Late one night a few years back, there was a burglary call at the Arizona Temple. The call was
assigned to me. When I arrived, I met the security guard and found an unconscious suspect lying on the floor inside the west foyer. He was unconscious because he tried a trick he had seen on television. He dove through (or tried to dive through) a window. The window was security glass and even though it shattered and bulged outward, it did not fail. He was lucky the impact didn’t break his neck. My back-up arrived and took custody of him. I now needed a new back-up. Because the temples are very sacred to us, entrance requires a “Temple Recommend.” I knew that the Church makes exceptions for emergency personnel, but because it was my call, I called specifically for Craig. He was a neighboring beat officer. Not only is he one of the finest men I have ever met in my life but he was also the only other recommend holder that I knew of, that was on duty that night.

Because the security guard saw a second suspect run into the presidents office, we started our search there. His office turned out to be the point of entry as well as the point of exit. In searching the office, beneath the broken window we found a mans, brown tri-fold wallet. Inside we found a photo, DES (Department of Economic Security) ID card. We knew that nearby, the DES had a food line every night at 1800. We asked the security guard if he could recognize the other suspect if he saw him again. He said he could. The next night, we sent him to dinner with a police radio in his pocket. His job was just to notify us if the suspect showed up for dinner. Craig and I were hiding out of view. By 1830, the second suspect was in custody. Every time I think of that incident,

    I can’t help but wonder if there was an angel standing next to that broken window
              that picked the pocket of that burglar as he jumped out.
                         I don’t suppose I’ll ever know, ...but I chuckle every time I think of it.

If you are interested in what goes on inside an LDS Temple, ask an LDS member if you can get a copy of, Come Unto Christ, Through Temple Ordinances and Covenants. It’s about a thirty page book that helps members understand the Temple and our ordinances. If you don’t have an LDS friend, look up an LDS Bishop and ask for one. He will give you one and answer any questions you may have. It’s a nifty little manual, complete with color pictures.

“Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a
problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in my heart
for answers. These answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways.”
               Ezra Taft Benson

“And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house...may
grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according
to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing.”
                                 Joseph Smith, D&C 109:14-15

“Mormon Atrocities...”

Anti-Mormons talk about the “atrocities” committed by Mormons in Missouri that they could supply evidence for, yet conveniently don’t. An atrocity is an outrageous, ghastly act, that’s coupled with enormity. So trust me, if there was evidence of such, they would have it in big, bright, bold letters, backed up with evidence for you to look at. Remember, these are people who actively campaign against the Church. So why would they spare the evidence? Unless, doesn’t exist. In reality, they just want to discredit the Church and hope you won’t ask for the evidence.

In my search to look up their claims of “atrocities”, I did find one factual account of an atrocity
committed by a group of Mormon men in southern Utah. It was called the “Mountain Meadows
Massacre” where 123 migrating Missourians were killed by a group of men, all of which were
Mormons, except for the participating Indians. That’s the only real historical account of an atrocity I’ve read about. In fact, the History Channel had two different programs on the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Mountain Meadows Massacre...

In September of 1857, the Fancher wagon train (migrating Missourians) passed through Cedar City, Utah, en route to southern California. Word had reached the local LDS communities that the US Army was marching their way and that the Army was going to march against them. Not because of anything the Mormons had done, but because of the rumors that had been started by the anti-Mormons. When the wagon train came into town, a lot of anti-Mormon statements and insults were made by the members of the train. The insults caused the Mormons to refuse to sell supplies to the wagon train. Some of the wagon train members then told the Mormons that they hoped the invading army killed or imprisoned them, etc. They threatened to raise an army when they got to California and come back and “settle the score.” They said, “We’re going to do to you here, what we did to you in Missouri.” Some bragged that they had been part of the mob that had killed Joseph Smith. To further taunt the Mormons, some would say as they were whipping their team of oxen, “Go Joseph,  Go Hyrum” as well as several other antagonistic remarks and behavior.

The departing wagon train stopped in Mountain Meadows, thirty-five miles southwest of Cedar City. A meeting was held in Cedar City, and proposals were made to attack and completely wipe out the immigrants before they could get to the coast and carry out their threats. Calmer heads prevailed and a rider was sent to Salt Lake to seek Brigham Young’s advice and counsel.

Meanwhile, a band of Indians had attacked some of their herds, gunfire was exchanged, three
Missourians left the camp for California for help and were killed by a combination of Mormons and Indians. The decision was made to not wait for Brigham Young’s advice. “It would be too dangerous to let word spread...that Mormons were helping Indians attack the immigrant trains.” Under a flag of truce, John D. Lee approached the encampment and promised them safe passage back to Cedar City if they lay down their arms. The Missourians agreed to do so and then the Mormon militia turned their guns on the wagon train, killing the men. The Indians killed the women and older children with 17 small children spared. Total killed: 123. The small children were ultimately, with government help, returned to their relatives in the mid-west. (Utah History, p.171) The History Channel, “Mountain Meadows Massacre” reported 120 killed, 18 children spared. The incident started on September 7th. It ended on September 11th. The rider to Salt Lake returned with Brigham Young’s return message on September 12th. ...One day too late.

“In regards to immigrant wagon trains passing through our settlements, you must
not meddle with them. If those who are there will leave, just let them go in peace.”
                                             Brigham Young

There isn’t any good way of looking at that incident. It was wrong and those involved will be held accountable and pay dearly for it. But there are a lot of mitigating circumstances that will be
presented at their sentencing hearing on judgement day. Many of those involved in the Mountain
Meadows massacre had been driven from their homes as many as five times. Many had relatives and friends that were killed in the Haun’s Mill Massacre. This group of southern Utah Mormons also helped build the City of Nauvoo, which was built out of river side swamp land. Many had seen their prophet killed. When they were forced from Nauvoo during the winter, to escape further persecution, they made their way west across the plains. During their exodus, many lost friends and family members to the bitter winter of the plains. Over 1500 miles later they settled in southern Utah, which at the time was not even in the United States. There they forged a life out of the desert. After all that, lo and behold, here comes a wagon train full of Missourians yelling things such as,

“We’re going to do to you here what we did to you in Missouri.”

All that doesn’t justify what they did, but like Crazy Horse’s attack on Custer at the Little Big Horn, it came after many treaties and promises had been broken. Many Indian villages had been wiped out by US Soldiers. The Indians had been driven out of their lands time and time again and whatever land the white man wanted that the Indian had, the white man took. What land the Indian could keep, was what the white man didn’t want. Like the Indians, a lot of hatred was directed at the Mormons simply because of who they were.

                  “Now don’t get greedy, Custer, as there are Indians enough for all of us.”
                                 Colonel John Gibbon to
                                                 General George Armstrong Custer. June 25th, 1876

                       “They say we massacred them, but they came to do that to us!”
                                                                                Chief Crazy Horse

Think about this... The Massacre at the Little Big Horn came after many promises of peace had been broken by the US Government. It came after sixteen years of severe persecution beginning in 1860, when it seemed to be open season on Indians. It came after they had been forced off their lands, where hundreds, possibly thousands, died as they walked to their new lands in the mid-west and it came six years after one of the most ghastly massacres in American history, the Sand Creek massacre. Most importantly, it came after further threats of violence.

“Sand Creek was nothing more or less than a murder by Federal troops of
Indians who thought they were under the protection of the Army.”
                           Ulysses S. Grant to Colorado Governor, John Evans.

Likewise, the Mountain Meadows massacre by this group of Mormons came after many promises of peace had been broken by the Missourians and the government itself. The Mountain Meadows Massacre took place nineteen years after the Haun’s Mill Massacre and thirteen years after the murder of their prophet Joseph Smith. It came after they had been run out of town after town and many Mormons had been beaten or killed. It also came after the Mormons had been forced from their lands and homes, where hundreds, even thousands, died as they walked to their new home in the west. And most importantly, it came after further threats of violence. Do I think they were right in what they did? ...No! Am I willing to throw rocks at them? ...No! Why? Because I didn’t live through what they did and neither did you. So I’ll leave their judgement to someone a whole lot wiser than I.

John Whitmer...

Ankerberg and Weldon say, “John Whitmer, one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon,” said that Joseph Smith and others formed a “secret society, The Brotherhood of Gideon” where they took “Masonic-like oaths” so they could protect fellow Mormons, “right or wrong, even to the shedding of blood.” They further state that because of these oaths, coupled with “adultery, wickedness, and abominations” that Whitmer said these were the reasons why Joseph and Hyrum Smith were “brought to an untimely end” and caused the scattering of the Church. “As history records, Joseph Smith and his brother were killed by angry residents while in jail in 1844.” (P43)

There is fact, fiction and misrepresentation in their statements. The source cited for their information is another anti-Mormon book by, Jerald and Sandra Tanner in their book, Mormon Kingdom. John Whitmer’s history itself, is not cited. There’s our first red flag. John Whitmer was one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon plates. He was a trusted missionary and was the Church historian during early 1838. He and W. W. Phelps, for whatever reason, had taken personal title to the gathering site of Far West. Declining to be called to accountability for it, he was excommunicated on March 10th, 1838. He lost a lot of friends over this and became bitter. But even so, he never denied his testimony that he saw the golden plates.

The sentence, “The formation of these things together with adultery, wickedness and abominations which grew and multiplied in the heads and members of the Church...” is cited from the book, Mormon Kingdom. It is not from Whitmer’s history. So where is the proof that Whitmer said it? Who knows! At the public library, I looked for real evidence by real historians to support their claim. It may exist somewhere but I could not find it. However, one thing I do know is that if Ankerberg and Weldon didn’t quote Whitmer himself, it could only be for one of three reasons. They couldn’t find it either, or it doesn’t exist, or the actual statement doesn’t match the inference they wanted to make. So which is it? If it matched their inference, they would have cited it in big bold letters. So what they did was quote another anti-Mormon person. Therefore they can remain truthful! How clever! They offer as their proof a: They said, he said statement. However, they were right about one of their facts; Joseph Smith was killed in 1844. In looking for this supposed statement by John Whitmer, I came across these two statements I think you will find most interesting.

“Therefore I desire to testify to all that will come to the knowledge of this address,
that I have most assuredly seen the plates from whence the Book of Mormon is translated,
and that I have handled these plates, and know of a surety that Joseph Smith, Jr., has
translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God.”
                       John Whitmer, 1836. His last editorial in the:
                                        Messenger and Advocate

“Old Father John Whitmer told me last winter, with tears in his eyes, that he knew as well
as he knew he had an existence that Joseph translated the ancient writing which was upon
the plates, which he ‘saw and handled’ and which as one of the scribes, he helped to copy,
as the words fell from Joseph’s lips, by supernatural or almighty power.”
                                                 Letter of William Lewis. November 29th, 1877

Joseph and Hyrum... Carthage Jail...

To address Ankerberg and Weldon’s last statement: “As history records, Joseph Smith and his
brother were killed by angry residents while in jail in 1844.” I have to say I like the term “angry
residents” don’t you? It’s so much nicer than the term “mob!” In the days of the wild wild west, when a lynch mob took a prisoner away from the Sheriff and lynched him, they were a lynch mob! To term them “angry residents” is an attempt to displace blame from the mob to the victim of the lynching! It’s a tactic used to hide guilt.

In police work we call it blame displacement.

Nowhere in history has a lynch mob been reduced to angry residents! That whole statement is
designed to infer to the reader that because of the violence committed by the Mormons, Hyrum and Joseph Smith got what they had coming. That it was a natural reaction to the Mormon’s violence, being directed toward the rest of the community. Well if that is so, where are the real historians saying that? How come history doesn’t support that inference? How come there aren’t any cited examples? The reason there aren’t any cited examples by real historians, is because that information doesn’t exist. It’s an inference used specifically to justify the deeds of the mob.

Hitler did the same thing several times. One of his many examples was the yellow Star of David that he made the Jews wear. Hitler hated the Jews and he wanted to separate them from the rest of the people, but he didn’t want to offend or alert his countrymen. So after gaining control of the media, he told the German people the propaganda story that the Jews in America under Roosevelt’s Administration were forcing Germans in America to wear the Swastika over their left breast. Therefore in reprisal, the Nazi Government “reluctantly” ordered the German Jews to wear the Star of David to force the American Jews to stop this persecution of the American Germans. Even though his claims didn’t make sense, the unsuspecting freely accepted what he told them. (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. William Shirer p.91)

Now wasn’t that clever of Hitler? He got the German people to accept his claims by giving them a reasonable explanation of why it must be so. The same thing is done with a lot of the anti-Mormon propaganda. A “reasonable explanation” is given and quite often the unsuspecting freely accept it. The truth is always good enough for the honest, but it is never good enough for the propagandist. So who is the victim in a barrage of propaganda? You are! Propaganda is designed to mislead the unsuspecting listener. Who would try to mislead you?

                     Think about this... Who would use those kind of tactics?
                                             Who inspires a person to lie and misrepresent the truth?
                                                                     Christ? ...Or Satan?

Joseph Smith and Christianity...

Here’s something you may find interesting, again citing Ankerberg and Weldon’s book. This one is on page 35. It’s concerning Joseph Smith when he was fourteen years old, and his first vision. In Joseph Smith’s prayer to God he asks which church to join. Joseph Smith’s exact words were: "My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all sects was right, that I might know which to join. I was answered that I must join none of them...[For] they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."

In talking about Joseph Smith’s vision, Ankerberg and Weldon say this: "He was convinced that God had appeared to him to inform him that Christianity was a false religion." That’s an interesting interpretation by them because Joseph Smith said nothing like that, nor did he infer anything like that. The meaning of Joseph Smith’s vision was completely changed by Ankerberg and Weldon by simply changing the meaning of what Joseph Smith said. Joseph Smith’s words were "which sect." Ankerberg and Weldon’s word change to you was "Christianity." His request was: which sect to join. Their inference to you was: he was convinced...Christianity was a false religion. Clever inference change, don’t you think?. When reading anti-Mormon literature, you will notice that anti-Mormon writers reference each other quite often. Ankerberg and Weldon are no different.

Surprised at how many times they were quoting other anti-Mormon writers on significant issues as their sources of credible information, I decided to count their references in their first two sections. (Totaling seven chapters). Section One was, "Mormon Power and Origins." Section Two was, "Mormon Belief and Practice." Many of the reference sources were Ankerberg and Weldon quoting other anti-Mormon writers, who were quoting LDS sources! Why would they do that? In other words, their arguments are "...John said that Bill said that Jack said..." If you are going to quote what someone said, you should quote them directly and not what someone said they said, don’t you think? That’s called hearsay and is inadmissible in court. Not only is it inadmissible in court, but it should be a red-flag to you any time you see it. Why? Because why would a writer do that unless, ...unless the actual quote didn’t match the inference he wanted it to make, or, he couldn’t find it, or, the quote didn’t exist in the first place! So buyer beware! ...At any rate, here is what I came up with.

One:     Two sections, seven chapters, 55 pages.
Two:     143 total references.
Three:  41 of the references were from anti-Mormon writers.
Four:    14 of the 41 references, were Ankerberg and Weldon referencing themselves from
             other books they have written.
Five:     Several pointless references were used, but the actual amount depends on one’s own
              perception of the need to reference the issue talked about. Let me give you an
example of what I mean. When I was in the Phoenix Police Academy I had to write a
500 word essay on: "The proper use of a motor vehicle horn." So how do you come
up with 500 words on a subject like that? You talk about and reference everything!
When you are done, the overall appearance of the document you wrote is rather
impressive. But what was the subject matter again? "The proper use of the motor
vehicle horn!" Now stop and take a second look at those totals for a minute. Almost
one third of their references are anti-Mormon writers. (Why aren’t they using credited
historians?) And secondly, one third of those references are where they reference
themselves. (...What??)

Brigham Young’s "Blood Atonement!"

Another person that the anti-Mormon people pound on is Brigham Young. Most of their attacks on him are from the LDS, Journal of Discourses. The anti-Mormons like to think the Journal of Discourses are the thorn in the side of the LDS Church. Well, a lot more is made about the Journal of Discourses by anti-Mormons than is really the case. They are a twenty-six volume set of books and they are exactly what they say they are. A journal of discourses. They span from about 1853 to 1886. Approximately 33 years worth of everything from conference talks, to meeting house talks, to firesides. They were hand written by members who were usually the Church clerk. Some reference who wrote them and some don’t. They are very rarely referred to.

What’s the official Church stance on the Journal of Discourses? Well, I can’t speak for the Church but this is the general feeling about them: They are part of Church history but be careful what you quote. Most of it is what we believe, but some is a little off. That’s probably as close and accurate a feeling as anyone can give you on them. Brigham Young is pounded unmercifully for some of the things he is quoted as saying from the Journal of Discourses. Let me give you a few examples.


Thank You for Reviewing the First Half of Chapter Two


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