Radio Free Mormon and Bill Reel get together for a special Episode discussion on Elder Quentin L. Cook’s Face To Face On Church History. While Elder Cook and Church Historians Matt Grow and Kate Holbrook attempt to tell the audience that Church history is faith building and that it can withstand scrutiny, a simple look at what they say and more importantly what they don’t say seems to deeply indicate otherwise. There is even cameo Appearances by Elder Ballard, Church historian Steven Harper, and even a sound blip from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Sit back and buckle up as we learn that when it comes to Church leaders and the Church’s historians that “Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin'”.
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16 Replies to “Radio Free Mormon: 51: The Dissection of Elder Quentin L Cook’s Face To Face On Church History”
RFM – I hope you will engage the overwhelming evidence Joseph was not a polygamist. I feel like many critics of the church NEED Joseph Smith to be a polygamist. Because it’s the most heinous of acts, its easy to dismiss everything else.
Evidences of Joseph’s innocence:
Schuyler Colfax’s journal: Brigham says polygamy was revealed to him and select few others AFTER the 1835 inclusion of the statement on marriage included in the D&C (Section 101). Colfax was the VP of the United States.
D&C 132 appeared 8 years after Joseph’s death.
There NO CONTEMPORANEOUS ACCOUNTS of polygamy. All accounts come well after the fact, sometimes decades later.
D&C 132 was written by Brigham Young. See Enid DeBarthe’s 1969 Book “A Bibliography of Joseph Smith–The Mormon Prophet-Leader.” Linguistic analysis reveals Brigham as the author. Not only that, 132 names Isaac and Moses as polygamists, which is patently not true. Brigham was not only a terrible revelation forger, he was a lousy student of the bible.
Joseph Smith was involved in some 200 court cases, trying to manage the influx of thousands of people, had lengthy jail stints, but STILL had time to marry three dozen women. Makes complete sense.
NO VERIFIABLE CHILDREN. How does a man in his reproductive prime, who sleeping with dozens women, fail to produce a child?
We have Heber C. Kimball writing about a “secret priesthood” that Hyrum was sniffing out. Hyrum then penned his 1844 letter to the saints at China Creek, condemning the practice, even identifying the “secret priesthood” they claimed gave them permission to marry more than one wife. Hyrum vehemently denied they taught it or were involved in it.
We know Brigham Young spent a LOT of time with Cochranite sex-cult up in Saco, Maine, even marrying one of their members.
We have Brigham Young AND Lorenzo Snow claiming God revealed the practice to them before it was ever made known to Joseph Smith, but they just kept it to themselves.
We have assistant church historian Charles Wesley Wandell witnessing Brigham Young and Willard Richards altering Joseph Smith’s history. Wandell was so aghast at what he was witnessing that he up and left the church.
Wandell later penned a series of letters called the Argus letters, in which he states he knew Joseph Smith was not a polygamist, that the practice couldn’t be traced to him and that 132 was the product of Brigham Young.
We have William Marks testimony that Joseph said to him that polygamy was evil and destroy the church.
We have evidence of George A. Smith, Joseph’s cousin, altering the history and summarily CHANGING Joseph’s statement that he forbade polygamy to “unless the Lord directs otherwise.” LDS history Richard Van Waggoner concedes this is the case.
The Temple Lot testimonies are very damning to Brigham and his co-conspirators. They can’t keep their dates straight.
Emma Smith denied it her dying day. Will you call her a liar?
Why are these testimonies unreliable? Why is it that ONLY testimonies of Joseph’s presumed polygamy are considered?
Instead of starting with the presumption that Joseph was a polygamist and finding the evidence to support the claim, let the facts speak for themselves.
This practice of plural marriage was the bastard child of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow.
Engage the content, RFM. I will email all of it you if you want it. Let’s see if you’re willing to put your money where you mouth is.
As Peter said, the truth will set you free.
Matt,….I love this part:
“This practice of plural marriage was the bastard child of Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow.”
It says that, presupposing Joseph was completely innocent of polygamy, we can give him a break. But, it also implicitly concludes that the church is false since true priesthood keys can NOT promulgate through corrupt leaders.
If priesthood keys CAN promulgate, then Catholics have as big a claim on authority as ANYONE claiming a restoration.
In my mind, what you are arguing doesn’t change the basic problem: LDS Leaders lie and continue to lie. You have said explicitly above that Brigham, Willard, John and others are LIARS. They were also “Prophets, Seers and Revelators”.
Seems like the conclusion remains the same — the LDS Church has a serious problem regardless of which leader lied.
The point of his comment has nothing to do with the claimed divine authority of the present day lds church. There are many, me included,who through study of the Joseph Smith papers and documents and minutes of meetings contemporary to the Prophet Joseph have come to conclude that following his death the leadership immediately began to apostatize from the things he taught, seized control of the church which was strictly forbidden by revelation, and doctored church history to throw Joseph under the bus as the instigator of polygamy to support their abominations among other things. The supposed testimonies of women claiming to be wives of Joseph and testimonies of others saying that Joseph began and practiced polygamy where from what I have read, accounts given in affidavits by individuals a decade or more after Joseph’s death. What about that hearsay? Would that type of testimony hold up in court? The reason for the belated affidavits was to support BrighamYoung’s claims against Joseph’s son.
Look up the “Temple Lot Case” where a non Mormon judge was clearly able to distinguish that the testimony of the Brighamites (Utah lds church) had nothing to do with the church Joseph originally restored.
Anyway, this comment is too long already.
I replied earlier but I think I hit a wrong button so it didn’t publish.
Matt’s comment has nothing to do with the present day claim of divine authority by the lds church.
Many folks, including me, after reading documents, journals, declarations, entries in the Joseph Smith Papers, etc. which were from the time contemporary with the Prophet Joseph are now convinced that he has been thrown under the bus so to speak by the claims of those who, almost violently, seized control of the lds church following the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum.
They were seeking to justify there abominable practices of polygamy by claiming Joseph had revealed it from heaven.
In the Joseph Smith Papers it is clearly noted although ignored by the “scholars” that Joseph’s own words were changed and other words added to change the history to reflect the narrative that Joseph sanctioned polygamy.
The affidavits given by the so called many wives of Joseph Smith and the affidavits and testimonies of others as well claiming Joseph as the original instigator of polygamy in the lds church all gave their witnesses at least ten years or more after Joseph’s death as I have seen. None of these testimonies is contemporary or even close to contemporary with the Prophet Joseph.
From accounts I have read, these testimonies and affidavits also were gathered at a time when Brigham Young was seeking to undermine any claim Joseph’s son might make to leadership of the church as an adult.
In the Temple Lot Case a judge who was not lds was easily able to distinguish that the Brighamites (Utah lds church) with it’s practices of polygamy was not at all similar to the church established by Joseph.
Matt’s comment as I see it helps any honest soul question the false narrative that disparages Joseph.
I do not know Mat but I would consider that he,likely me, sees the present day lds church as bereft of everything it claims. They have no authority in divine matters.
You could prove Joe Smith wasn’t a polygamist, completely, no way, never happened, and it gets you no closer to him being nothing more than a con man.
So the mormon god is not a polygamist, never has been a polygamist, never Will be a polygamist. If Elohim completely disdains polygamy why do so many LDS prophets, seers and revelators insist that they will become polygamist gods in the next life???
I agree with Matt above. While I agree with most everything you post RFM and Bill, and don’t intend to be contentious, I submit a counter argument such as what Matt posted above.
This is a great resource on spiritual wifery and the secret combinations among us trying to justify this abomination in secret chambers.
– Brigham wrote much of sec 132 as noted above
– The brethren at that time wanted to frame Joseph as a polygamist in order to justify their spiritual wifery. (Much like wicked king Noah)
– Jacob 2:30 is used to justify polygamy when the Book of Mormon is a book against polygamy. It cannot be taken out of context by just reading that verse. Read the whole chapter and of course the whole book.
– If Jacob 2:30 is to “raise up seed”, then why did Joseph not have any seed from any of these supposed other marriages? I’m sickened that the brethren and church has decided to take the brighamite version of history and throw the prophet of the restoration under the bus and take others accounts like Brigham and all the other polygamous men engaging in spiritual wifery
– While D&C 42:22-23 and 49:16 conform with God’s instruction, D&C 132 does not. It came later from Brigham Young in 1876. He put it into the D&C without a vote of the church, also removing older anti-polygamy Section 101.
– In addition, these sites claim that one of Joseph’s earliest wives was Fanny Alger, taken at age 15, in either adultery or polygamy (pedophilia). Contrasting these lies, Joseph and the Smith family continually claimed his innocence. Joseph brought others to church courts for their polygamy right up until his murder (which in my opinion was to silence him from their spiritual wifery)
– Joseph was innocent of polygamy. The fruits in Joseph’s life reveal his connection with God, not the abominable practices Jacob spoke of in Jacob chapters 2 and 3. As the Prophet of the Restoration, Joseph Smith brought forth the Book of Mormon, the JST version of the Bible, the Pearl of Great Price, and nearly all the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants. Joseph Smith said he never practiced polygamy! His mother, his wife, his brothers and sisters, and his son Joseph say the same. They were first-hand contemporary witnesses of him, his life, and his marriage. We can and should believe them. I can be confirmed in mighty prayer. Joseph Smith never stated that he had a revelation on or encouraging polygamy, though Young and others put that false narrative forth years after his murder. Instead, Joseph spoke out against spiritual wifery repeatedly. He fought it openly much of his life, excommunicating some from the church for it right up until his murder. We have many statements by him and others to reflect this –but typically more of them are available in the Josephite history, the one most Saints don’t consult. Joseph was framed as a polygamist by those who first implemented spiritual wifery secretly among the Nauvoo Saints, and all to justify their own secret practice of it. They included Brigham Young and some of the Twelve before his murder. Eventually all the Twelve embraced polygamy. Many stories were manufactured thereafter to cover up the secret practice of polygamy in Nauvoo. Many repeat the false narrative that the Saints were run out of Nauvoo by persecutors, but never was it because of the spiritual wifery that was being practiced by some leaders, nor the secrecy, deception, division, sin, and murder among the Saints. Sadly is a significant part of the real, untold story.
This is a great resource on the secret combinations and corruption to justify polygamy, frame Joseph as a polygamist to further justify it and backdate things, and shut him up which led to the martyrdom. (In line with your apostolic coup d tat episodes which are great)
Trusting in men brings curses as The BoM teaches such as trusting everything that was done and backdated by church leaders post martyrdom
In the end they’re framing Joseph to justify this conduct when it was wrong to make it look like the prophet of the restoration was also doing it and had commanded it. This is the deception many don’t see now.
Oops. Here is the additional resource I referred to: http://www.7witnesses.com/uploads/3/8/9/3/38938293/just_one_wife.docx
“Brigham wrote much of sec 132 as noted above”
If Brigham wrote it and (as is suggested in these posts) its “not of God”…then what is wrong with our current leadership? Why do they LEAVE IT IN THE BOOK! Why is it canonized? Why have there been thousands of GAs bare witness to the truthfulness of the standard works?
This church believes in plural marriage. Oaks and others are married “eternally” to more than one woman–and they believe they are. Seems like polygamy to me, whether in this life of the next.
In my mind, it doesn’t matter if Joseph taught it or not. How does that affect section 132 and the fact that polygamy was practiced for decades? What about the manifesto and the continuous lies about plural marriage?
How can a “prophet, seer and revelator” lie and be exempt from God’s condemnation?
I don’t buy any of these rebuttals. Whether Joseph lied about it, Brigham, or Wilford Woodruff, the fact is these were key carrying men of god. AND THEY LIED.
By their own testified doctrine: “Amen to the priesthood of that man”
I am with Matt and Tyson here. I would add that the LDS Church needs Joseph Smith to be a polygamist, pedophile and liar. If it were to admit Smith was not, it would expose Brigham Young as an utter fraud and, in turn, the LDS Church itself as a fraud — since it claims authority THROUGH Brigham Young. It would be exposed as a counterfeit Christian church devoid of power not only to heal the physically sick, but also to assist in the spiritual regeneration of the spiritually sick. It denies the power of God to effect such healing. “Conversion does not happen in modern times the way it did in the Book of Mormon. Now, it is a very gradual, imperceptible thing.” This is because it really does not want anyone being Born Again — since this would liberate the saints not only from the power of Satan, but from the Church’s manacles as well. Hence (though not to excuse his actions) the MTC president’s inability to find a cure for his “addiction” — despite having done everything the CHURCH had said he should do. It is worse than most imagine. But there is too much money and power at stake. Therefore the LDS Church is willing to throw Joseph Smith under the bus — and continue to “destroy the saints of God” and “yoketh them with a yoke of iron,” rather than give up that power. Please, RFM: Lend your genius to the issue Matt and Taylor have described here. The “bottom layer” has remained largely undiscovered by most.
I was hoping that you would mention that Elijah and Elias are the same person. I got that info from the Tanners. My dictionary even verifies that fact.
Many thanks for this well done episode. You articulated many of my feelings while watching this disturbing presentation. What on earth is so funny about the plight of a second wife?
As always, great job!
This is the point that I am struggling with about the LDS church after listening to the podcast. The Church claims to be the True and Living Church, therefore it’s the Church’s duty to prove or/and support this claim. It is Elder Quentin L. Cook duty as an apostle, to provide the answers to the difficult question yet he pawns off the difficult questions to the church historians. The female church historian Kate Holbrook definitely has no priesthood authority to give answers that are binding on the Church, so why are the difficult questions placed on her shoulders? Is it to offer plausible deniability to Elder Cook or the Church if a member has a problem with something Sister Holbrook said? I ask this question did Elder Cook fulfill his duty or shirked his duty? In any other forum, it would be the duty of one making a claim to substantiate a claim.
I love the Bill Reel/RFM segments!
Have been wanting to get around to this episode for a while. My TBM brother recently tried to talk to me about how the book Saints was the church’s attempt at talking honestly about their history. I tried to use it as a way to talk to him about true church history and he just shut down (he ignores it every time we talk about the subject). Later he admitted he hadn’t read the book but thought I should have a more spiritual approach to history.
A few months back I listened to a podcast about freudian slips and how it’s our subconscious letting people know our true thoughts when we say or make mistakes. I don’t know how legitimate it is but it definitely messes with your brain when you talk to people day to day. When I first saw Elder Cook’s face to face I couldn’t believe how riddled the thing was with these slips (Joseph Smith is the savior, laughter at polygamy). It may be nothing but it would be interesting to see how often these things happen when the leaders are talking off the cuff like this.
What about a little girl in the 50’s who’s very favorite song was ‘The Golden Plates’??? Sang it beautifully with faith & love? This little girl who cried for the Prophet who was so unbelievably persecuted by the wicked?? My little heart almost broke for this great prophet?? So!!! What of my generation? Do our feelings & broken lives not matter at all, now?? Broken!
Love the show, RFM and Bill! Thank you. I am not a Mormon; I have never even been inside an LDS church, but I have enjoyed learning about the faith from various sources, this podcast included. My comment has to do with RFM’s statement that Mormons do not worship Joseph Smith (3:02:07-3:02:22). As I mentioned, I am not a Mormon, so I cannot offer an opinion or comment as to whether RFM’s statement is correct. However, on another Mormon-related podcast (I can’t recall which one just now) a particular hymn was mentioned: Praise to the Man. I looked up the lyrics, and the words do seem to contain an attitude of worship of Joseph Smith. I got the impression that this hymn is fairly common and/or popular within the LDS faith. Am I analyzing this hymn correctly? It sure seems like worship. I understand that the hymn is not canon, but I am just trying to accurately understand the LDS faith. Thanks again!