SEX and the Mormon Church

The Restoration Means God Leads the Mormon Church

"Living prophets are leading this church today. The greatest security of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints comes from learning to listen to and obey the words and commandments that the Lord has given through living prophets. I would hope that the world would understand the importance of having a living prophet on earth today. In my own lifetime, through association with prophets, I have observed how they are prepared by the Lord. Their purpose is to bring us the will of the Lord for our times. I give my testimony that the prophets of this day have the qualities of the prophets of old and the other prophets of this dispensation. Each of these prophets has humbly and prayerfully sought to know and follow God?s will in his personal ministry. We declare with soberness, and yet with the authority of God in us vested, we have a prophet today. The President of the Church, as a prophet, is God?s representative on earth and is appointed to lead His church."
-Apostle Robert D. Hales, "Hear the Prophet?s Voice and Obey," Ensign, May 1995, Page 15

Now look what those leaders have done over the last 150 years. Ask yourself, are these men really God's representatives on the Earth?

The following historical events regarding sex and marriage in the church have been compiled from the extensive historical church chronology from D. Michael Quinn's book "The Mormon Hierarchy : Extensions of Power" For references, refer to the book.

Jan 14, 1848 - Brigham Young instructs Seventy's meeting: "For the first act of adultery you may forgive a man, but if a man beds with a woman and does it 10 times he is guilty."

11 Mar, 1848 - Benjamin Covey is excommunicated for having sexual intercourse with two girls "less than Twelve years of age" who are his foster daughters. He is rebaptized and serves as bishop of Salt Lake City Twelfth Ward from 22 February 1849 until 1856.

1 Feb, 1849 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball tells Sunday meeting that plural marriage "would end he said when the Church had gone to the Devil or the Prieshood taken from this people - then God would give it to another people."

3 Mar, 1849 - At council of Fifty meeting, Brigham Young speaks concerning theives, murderers, and sexually licentious: "I want their cursed heads to be cut off that they may atone for their crimes." Next day, the council agrees that man has "forfeited his Hed," and decides it would be best "to dispose of him privately." Instead, they allow him to live.

29 April, 1849 - First Presidentcy and Quorum of Twelve make following decisions concerning sex in marriage "not to unite with woman in view of impregnation till 7 days after the cesation of the menstrual discharge in order for the most healthy procreation. Also that after childbrith if delivered a son she should continue 40 days in her purification [without sexual intercourse with her husband]. If daughter she [the new mother] should be 70 days separated as unclean for a man. As to sexual connexion during pregnancy, do just as they please about that - suit themselves." This is the earliest known LDS discussion of what is appropriate in sexual relations of married couples. These rules are based on Book of Leviticus, rather than on current medical writings.

15 Jan, 1851 - First of Brigham Youngs' five formal divorces from plural wives. He is only one formally divorced while serving as church president. Joseph Smith informally ended several plural marriages, and four LDS presidents are formally divorced as apostles (John Talor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith)

19 Jar, 1851 - Utah legislature enacts law against "Sodomoy" by "any man or boy," but removes sodomoy from criminal code on 6 Mar. 1852, without explanation. As governor Brigham Young signs both laws. Due to absence of sodomy statue, Utah judge drops charges against soldier for raping LDS boy in 1864. Young claims Utah's legislators never criminalized sodomy and he declines to instruct them to do so for the next twlve years. Utah legislators criminalize sodomy in 1876 only because federally appointed governor asks them to adopt entire criminal code of California which has five-year imprisonment for sodomoy. For next twenty years LDS judges give 3-6 months of improsoniment to those convicted of homosexual rape, the same sentencing given to young males and females convicted of consensual fornication. Mormons of this era give no known explanations for any of these legislative and jurdicial actions/inactions.

17 MAr, 1851 - Brigham Young speaks in favor of Madison D. Hambleton who is being tried for shooting and killing man at LDS church services, immediately after closing prayer. The man "seduced" wife of Hambletone who is "acquitted by the Court and also by the Voice os the people present." Hambleton later becomes sheriff in Utah.

18 Oct, 1851 - Trial of confessed murderer (and newly returned-missinary) Howard Egan. His lawyer Apsotle George A. Smith popularizes phrase "mountain common law" and argues: "The man who seduces his neighbor's wife must die, and her nearest relative must kill him!" Fifteen minutes later jury finds Egan not guilty of murder. Church authorities print Smith's closing argument in Deseret News, in two church pamphlets, and later in Journal of Discourses 1:97. Egan is one of Brigham Young's enforcers.

24 July, 1853 - Brigham Young preaches, "The Father came down in his bodily tabernacle and begot Jesus."

19 Feb, 1854 - Seventy's president Jedediah M. Grant preaches: Did the Prophet Joseph want every man's wife that he asked for? He did not...."

16 July, 1854 - First counselor Heber C. Kimball recommends decapitation for adulterers and preaches from the pulpit concerning "unclean" women: "we wipe them out of exsistence."

8 Oct, 1854 - In what Apostle Wilford Woodruff describes as "the greatest sermon that ever was deliveed to the Latter Day Saints since they have been a people," Brigham Young announces from the pulpit: "I believe in Sisters marrying brothers, and brothers having their sisters for Wives. Why? because we cannot do otherwise. There are none others for me to and the opposite idea has resulted from the ignorant and foolish traditions of the nations of the earth." Young's secretary George D. Watt has already married his own half sister as a plural wife. Her letter to Young shows that he was initially "unfavorable" toward allowing them to marry, but this sermon reveals theological basis for Young's authorizing Watt's brother-sister marriage and the three children born of their union.

27 Apr, 1855 - Lieutenant in Colonel E. J. Steptoe's command in Salt Lake City writes to friend about his romance and near seduction of one of the wives of Brigham Young's son Joseph (who is on a mission): "Mary [Ayers] Young and I had to give up. Brigham sent me word that if I took her away he would have me killed before I could get out of the Territory. He is a man of his word and little matters of this sort are concluded, I had better not do it, although I went back to the city purposely to get her. We wrote each other affectionate notes."

27 Mar, 1857 - Brigham Young permits woman to select faithful elders to act as "proxy" to father children for her sexually impotent living husband. Young performs polyandrous ceremony "for time," and the relationship lasts for several years producting two sons, (1858, 1861). Mother's legal husband raises boys with her, and later tells them he loves them as much as if they were his natural sons. Both boys grow up to become devoted Mormons and polygamists. This is last knon case of authorized polyandry.

2 June, 1857 - Brigham Young says from the pulit, "I feel to sustain him," when informed that the bishop in Manti. Waren S. Snow, has castrated twenty-four-year-old Welchman, Thomas Lewis, for undisclosed sex crime. "Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it," Young writes Snow in July about the castration, "and it will soon die away among the people." Snow's counselor confides to his diary that this poor young man "has now gone crazy."

14 June, 1857 - At a prayer circle of the First Presidency and apostles, Brigham Young refuses to seal three young girls (ages 12 and 13) to "Father James Allred" (age 73) because they "would not be equally yoked together" in marriage.

27 Jan, 1858 - Judge Hosea Stout describes with no disaproval how Mormons "disguised as Indians" drag a man "out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square and close amputation."

5 Apr, 1858 - Bishop of Payson, his brother the Sherriff, and sevral members of their LDS congregation join in shooting to death twenty-two-year-old Henry Jones and is mother, Mrs. Hannah Jones Hatch, for committing incest by which she has a daughter. The men also kill infant and also castrate brother/father. Perpetrators are indicted next year, but not brought to trial. When indicted again in 1889, Deseret News article criticizes trial of this "antiquated Payson homicide" as anti-Mormon crusade gainst those who were justifiably "digusted and greatly incensed" against "the brutal mother and son." Former sherriff is convicted of murder, former bishop is acquitted.

12 Sep, 1858 - Church historian's office notes discovery this morning of severed head of Provo woman who has been at U.S. military camp for a week. Six weeks earlier another woman's head is discovered. These are earliest verified examples of someone taking literally the repeated teachings of Mormon leaders that apostates and adulterers should have their heads "cut off" as "blood atonement" for their sins.

2 Jan, 1859 - Brigham Young begins custom of having all Mormon congregations sit with women on north side of center aisle, men on south side, and children on front benches. This seating arrangement lasts for decades, remains in temples to this day.

8 Oct, 1859 - Brigham Young from the pulpit tells bishops to give Melchizedek priesthood to eighteen-year old boys, even if they "have been sowing their wild oats for years."

8 July, 1860 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit, "Children are now born who will live until every son of Adam will have the privledge of receiving the principles of eternal life." He also preaches, "The birth of our Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action."

23 Feb 1862 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit that the concept of Mother in Heaven is as essential as concept of Father in Heaven.

1 Aug 1862 - Brigham Young writes to a local bishop: "my advice is for bro james T.S. Allred to marry the Indian girl in question. It is written that 'not many generations shall pass away before they become a white and delightsome people.'" Dozens of men marry Native Americans as plural wives in pioner Utah and Arizona.

12 Apr, 1866 - Deseret News reports murder of S. Newton Brassfield on 2 Apr. He legally maries plrual wife of absent Mormon missionary, and Deseret News editorializes that "the illegaly married couple would probably have been suffered to prusue their way to their own liking," except that she filed for custody of her children. Deseret News also reports Brigham Young's sermon about the murdered Brassfield: "Were I absent from my home on a mission, I would rejoice to know that I had friends there to protect and guard the virtue of my household; and I would thank God for such friends."

19 Aug, 1866 - Brigham Young preaches from the pulpit: "Mary, the wife of Joseph, had another husband. On this account infidels have called the Savior a bastard... he was begotten by God our Heavenly Father." She was a polyandrist, like the women he authorized in 1857.

11 Dec, 1866 - Brigham Young, Jr. writes in his diary that "a nigger" is found dead in Salt Lake City with this note pinned to the cropse: "Let this be a warning to all niggers that they medle not with white women."

10 Jan, 1868 - Deseret News Editorial: "In this Territory we jealously close the door against adultery, seduction and whoredom. Public opinion here pronounces the penalty of death as the fitting punishment for such crimes."

4 Feb, 1868 - Deseret News editorializes that "it is a pity" LDS father did not succeed in killing his daughter's lover when the father "drew a revolver and shot him down in the court room."

5 MAr, 1868 - Deseret News article titled "Served Him Right" reports that a Gentile is given "sound thrashing" when he visits LDS meeting to see young woman.

15 Aug, 1869 - Apostle George Q. Canon preaches from the pulpit: "We close the door on one side, and say that whoredoms, seductions and adulteries must not be committed among us, and we say to those who are determined to carry on such things: WE WILL KILL YOU..."

27 Oct, 1869 - Brigham Young preaches at Lehi, Utah that "by marriage Lot's two daughters were sealed to him, and will be his to all eternity." Young adds that it might one day become necessary to seals a man's daughter to him as a wife, "but it is not likely ever again to occur." There are verified instances of LDS leaders performing polygamous marriages between men and their foster-daughters or step-daughters, but not actual daughters.

18 June, 1870 - First counselor George A. Smith tells Salt Lake School of the Prophets about "the evil of Masturbation" among Utah Mormons. Apostle Lorenzo Snow says that "Plural Marriage would tend to diminish this evil self-pollution," and he believes that "indulgence on the part of men was less in Plural marriage than in Monogomy." Elder George Reynolds (Secretary to Brigahm Young) also tells the School that "where Monogomy was the Law, it compelled a more frequent (sexual) cohabitation than is right and proper." Mormon medical books of the time advise sexual intercourse only once a month.

11 Sep, 1871 - Counselor Daniel H. Wells tells Grantsville School of the Prophets that "a great many of our young men are abusing themselves by the habit of self-pollution: or self abuse, or as the Bible terms it, Onanism," which he regards as "one great cause why so many of our young men were not married, and it was a great sin, and would lead to insanity and a premature grave." Polygamy is likelier cause for prevalence of bachelorhood in ninteenth-century Utah. First, every national census lists more males than females in Mormon population. Second, 10 to 40 percent of Mormon men marry polygamously which demographically requires bachelorhood in Utah's majority population of males.

16 Dec, 1871 - Seymor B. Young, son of senior Seventy's president, writes: "Salt Lake City has for the first time in its history houses of Ill fame almost on every corner."

27 Feb, 1872 - LDS publication Millenial Star editorial titled, "Motherhood of God," repeats a child's question: "Why don't you tell me about the Heavenly Mother? Don't she give us anything?" Editorial speaks of those who "yearn to adore her" and expresses approval of praying to "Father and Mother God." Editorial conclusion: "When we draw nearer the Divine Man, lo! we shall find a Divine Woman smiling upon us...In the Father's many mansions, we shall find her and be satisfied."

7 Mar, 1875 - Apostle Joseph F. Smith's wife writes to him that "you know how brother (Apostle) [Albert] Carrington thinks a deal of women." In Dec. 1882 Apostle John Henry Smith writes President John Taylor that maid at British Mission headquarters "found Bro. Carrington lying upon the lounge and Sarah Kirkman lying upon top him." Upon Brigham Young's inquiry about other women in 1873 and John Taylor's inquiry about Sarah Kirkham in 1883, Carrington denies serious wrongdoing. he is not excommunicated until 1885 when protests from Sarah's husband become too insistent to ignore.

24 June, 1876 - Brigham Young confides that it is "a curiousity to him that men could commit adultery and still retain the spirit of the Lord as he had witnessed on one occasion. The man is now dead."

26 Sep, 1877 - Grand Jury describes Salt Lake County probate court as a "divorce mill" which granted 300 divorces in previous twelve-month period, primarily on "grounds of incompatibility of temperment, different aims and objectives in life." Eighty percent of divorced couples come to Utah for divorces from such places as San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Terre Haute, and St. Louis. Report finds that 13 percent of divorces are granted same day of complaint, total of 25 percent within week of application, and total of 85 percent are granted within a month of aplication. Report continues, "And your committee have good reason to beleive that other country probate courts of the territory are likewise engaged in this class of divorce business, to an equal if not greater extent." Two months later U.S. senator Dawes introduces bill to remove divorce from jurisdiction of Mormon probate courts and limit divorce cases to federally-appointed non-Momron judges.

13 June, 1878 - LDS political newspaper Salt Lake Herald's editorial on "Unhappy Marriages" begins: "We cannot say how many divorces the (Mormon) Utah probate courts have granted during the last few years, but the number is enormous, amounting to perhaps thousands."

8 Oct, 1881 - First Counselor George Q. Cannon tells general conference: "We hear now of men having got married to cover up certain things; of children born wonderfully soon after marriage in some of our setlements, and perhaps in this city no less than in our rural settlements."

31 Mar, 1883 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. tells stake priesthood meeting: "There are many girls in Utah who have never had an offer of marriage from a man of the Church... Girls who marry outsiders are not worthy of the Sacrament."

9 Oct, 1883 - In several hours of meeting with stake presidents, First Presidency and apostles give instructions about "Masturbation...self-pollution of both sexes and excessive sexual indulgence in the married relation." This is the first-known Mormon referene to female masturabation.

7 Nov, 1885 - Quorum of Twelve excommunicates Apostle Albert Carrington "for crimes of lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery" with several women dating back to 1871. This is the first time since 1842 that a general authority is excommunicated for sexual misconduct, and its publication on 10 Nov. stuns the community.

27 Mar, 1886 - Polygamist husband confides in his personal diary: "How delicate is the position of a man in plural marriage who loves his wives and who in turn is loved by them. Every move he makes, in his relation or intercourse with them, is an arrow that pierces deep into the heart of one or other of them... A thousand thoughts and plans may come into his mind, but there is only one true solution. He must please God. In doing this, it may be hoped that by and by, he may also somehow please them."

15 July, 1886 - Apostle Lorenzo prophecises from the pulpit that in the future "brothers and sisters would marry each other in this church. All our horror at such a union was due entirely to prejudice, and the offspring of such unions would be as healthy and pure as any other. These were the decided views of President Young, when alive, for Bother Snow talked to him freely on this matter."

27 Dec, 1886 - Sarah M. Granger Kimball, counselor in Relief Society General Presidency teaches from the pulpit that "her brother Lafayette Granger and the late Bishop George Miller in conversation once with the prophet Joseph smith were told by him that when Mary the mother of Jesus was on her way to the hill country she was met by God the Father and the Angel Gabriel and the latter performed the marriage between Father (God) and Mary."

21 July, 1887 - Apostle Franklin D. Richards: "God the Father came down in his tabernacle of flesh and bone and had (sexual) association with Mary, and made her pregnant with Jesus."

27 Feb, 1889 - LDS politcial newspaper Salt Lake Herald's article titled, "FAILED MARRIAGES," regarding "the report of the Labor Commissioner Wright, presented last week, on the statistics of marriage and divorce in the United States from 1867 to 1886 inclusive," with following: In 1870 Utah had highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1870 Utah's rate was one divorce per 185 marriages. National averages was 1:664. States with lowest divorce rates are South Carolina at 1:4,938, Delaware at 1:123,672, New Mexico at 1:16,077, North Carolina at 1:4,938, and Louisiana at 1:4,579. In 1880 Utah had tenth highest rate of divorce out of all states and territories. In 1880 Utah's rate was one divorce per 219 marriages, wich was more than twice the national average of 1:479. In twentieth century, divorce rates for LDS temple marriages starts out three times higher than this "divorce mill" rate for early Utah civil marriages.

13 Mar, 1890 - Plural wife writes to her husband: "We are more like lovers than husband and wife for we are as far removed from each other - there is always the embarrassment of lovers and yet we have been married more than 37 years."

8 Sep, 1890 - Apostle John Henry Smith preaches from the pulput that "married people who indulge their passions for any other purpose than to beget children, really comitted adultery."

1 Oct, 1890 - An apostle asks "how the Son of God was begotten," and Lorenzo Snow tells apostles, "that he was begotten just the same as you and I were or as our sons today are."

2 Dec, 1890 - Apostle Lorenzo Snow tells the Quorum of Twelve that "he expects to see the day when a man's blood is shed again for the crime of adultery."

24 Mar, 1891 - Utah's chief justice Zane writes: "Polygamy has demoralized the people of Utah. I presume there are more sexual crimes here in proportion to the population than anywhere else."

6 Mar, 1892 - Stake president "condemns the practice that existed among the Saints to some extent of taking means to restrict the number of their children to only two or three."

20 Sep, 1896 - Seventy's president J. Golden Kimball preaches: "There are 500 girls who are public prostitutes in Salt Lake City. Some of these are daughters of Latter-Day Saints."

5 Nov, 1896 - Apostle Lorenzo R. Snow's youngest plural wife bears his last child in Canada. At age 82 he is the oldest general authority to father a child.

15 Jan, 1897 - Apostle Brigham Young Jr. temporarily resigns as vice-president of Brigham Young Trust Co. because first counselor George Q. Cannon allows its property to become "a first class" brotherl on Commercial Street (now Regent Street), Salt Lake City. Apostle Heber J. Grant is invited to its opening reception and is stunned to discover himself inside "a regular whore-house." This situation begins in 1891 and for fifty years church-owned and controled real estate companies lease houses of prostitution.

7 Oct, 1898 - At general conference Apostle John W. Taylor reports that in one rural area in Utah, 80 percent of LDS marrages involve pre-marital sex.

14 June, 1900 - First Presidency and apostles agree to give $3,600 to Brigham Y. Hampton for his prior "detective work" in which he paid prostitute to allow him and nearly thirty LDS "Home Missionaries" and policemen to spy on anti-Mormons engaging in sex acts in Salt Lake City brothels in 1885. Although first counselor denies it at this meeting, in private meetings of First Presidency George Q. Cannon refers to Hampton's brothel work as "services rendered the Church" and "work in behalf of the Church." Hampton has been set apart as a Salt Lake temple worker since 1893, and another coordinator of brothel spying is the temple doorkeeper (1893-1910).

10 July 1901 - Apostle Anthon H. Lund reports to apostles that during six-month period, 58 percent of LDS marriages in rural ward were "forced."

7 Nov, 1901 - First Presidency decides and announces that there is "no rule in the church forbidding cousins to intermarry" and that first cousins can have temple marriages if they present civil license. General authorities such as Brigham Young, Williard Richards, Joseph F. Smith and Abraham H.Cannon married their first cousins as legal and plural wives.

23 Nov, 1902 - Apostle John W. Taylor tells stake priesthood meeting that "those who have sexual intercourse with their wives or touch any dead body are unclean until the evening, and therefore during that day should not enter the temple or officiate in any ordinances of the gospel."

26 Mar 1903 - Joseph F. Smith tells apostles "there would be no daughters of perdition" in final judgment. General authorities authorize rebaptism without church discipline for young man who confesses "secret crime he committed in having to do with animals."

7 July, 1903 - Apostle Rudger Clawson tells other apostles "that the practice of self-abuse existed to an alarming extent among the boys in our community who attended the district schools, and also, he doubted not, the church schools. He felt that the boys and girls should be properly instructed in regard to this evil."

25 Oct, 1905 - Public criticism of Joseph F. Smith's remarks that Father Damien of Hawaiian leper colony was immoral before his death. LDS church president is convinced that leprosy is contracted through sexual contact.

9 May, 1913 - First Presidency learns that James Dwyer, co-founder of Salt Lake City's LDS University (now LDS Business College), has been "teaching young men that sodomy and kindred vices are not sins..." Dwyer's daughter, actress Ada Dwyer Russell, is already in long-term relationship with lesbian poet Amy Lowell. Dwyer's bishop and stake president want to excommunicate him, but First Presidency allows Dwyer, now in his eighties, to voluntarily "withdraw his name" from LDS church membership.

29 Sep, 1914 - Quorum of Twelve learns that mission president has "discovered that 15% of the missionary Elders in the Netherlands during the past two years, have been guilty of imoral practices, and that a much greater percentage of Elders have ben exposed to these evils."

8 June, 1941 - First Councelor J. Reuben Clark tells annual general conference of youth and their leaders: "When I was a boy it was preached from the stand, and my father and my mother repeated the principle to me time and time again. They said, 'Reuben, we had rather bury you than have you become uchaste.' And that is the law of this true Church."

26 Jan, 1842 - First Councelor J. Reuben Clark tells reporter for Look Magazine: "Our divorces are piling up." Church Historian's Office in 1968 compiles divorce statistics since 1910 for temple marriages, "church civil" marriages, and "other civil" marriages. Although temple marriages have lowest divorce rate of the three categories, in 1910 there was one "temple divorce" for every 66 temple marriages performed that year., 1:41 in 1915, 1:34 in 1920, 1:27 in 1925, 1:30 in 1930, 1:23 in 1935, 1:27 in 1939, 1:17 in 1945, 1:31 in 1950, 1:30 in 1955, 1:19 in 1960 and 1965. Last rate for temple divorce is almost ten times higher than Utah's civil divorce rate century earlier.

2 Oct, 1952 - Second Counselor J. Reuben Clark warns women of Relief Society general conference against "self-pollution," prostitution, and "homosexuality, which it is tragic to say, is found among both sexes." He cautions LDS women against allowing homsexually oriented males to use them as male-substitutes in dating or marriage: "I wonder if you girls have ever reflected on the thought that was in the mind of the man who first began to praise you for your boyish figures." Clark also tells the ladies, "I forebear to more than mention that abomination and filth and loathsomeness of the ancients - carnal knowledge with beasts." Church Relief Society magazine publishes this talk in full.

21 May, 1959 - Executive committee of Church Board of Education discusses "the growing problem in our society of homosexuality." Spencer W. Kimball reports that David O.McKay has said "that in his view homosexuality was worse than heterosexual imorality; that it is a filthy and unnatural habit."

12 Feb, 1964 - First Presidency letter that all prosepctive missionaries "found guilty of fornication, of sex perversion, of heavy petting, or of comparable transgressions should not be recommended until the case has been discussed with the bishop and stake president and the visiting General Authority."

7 Jan, 1969 - First Presidency secretary Joseph Anderson answers letter about "the Church's stand pertaining to birth control," with the concluding statement: "After all, however, the bretheren recognize that this is a personal matter involving the individuals concerned, and concerning which they must make their own decision."

14 April, 1969 - First Presidency makes official statement on birth control which omits any reference to their own feelings about birth control as "a personal matter," and states: "We believe that those who practice birth control will reap dissapointment by and by," and repeated earlier letter's emphasis on "self control as a dominant factor" in marriage.

9 June, 1978 - First Presidency letter instructs that interviews of married persons "should scrupulously avoid indelicate inquiries," yet also emphasizes: "Married persons should understand that if in their marital relations they are guilty of unnatural, impure or unholy practices, they should not enter the temple unless and until they repent and discontinue any such pratices." This reverses position of First Presidency proir to Spencer W. Kimball's ascendancy.

17 June, 1978 - Church News headline "Interracial Marriage Discouraged" in same issue which announces authorizaton of priesthood for those of black African descent. Sources at church headquarters indicate that Apostle Mark E. Petersen requires this emphasis.

Sep 1981 - Branch presidents at the Missionary Training Center in Provo receive 21-point handout to help "both male and female" misionaries avoid masturbation. Point 19: "In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken." In May 1995 article about masturbation, national magazine "Details" publishes seventeen of the recommendations and identifies Apostle Mark E. Petersen as author of "Steps in Overcoming Masturbations: A Guide to Self-Control." In 1996, spokesman at LDS headquarters denies that Elder Petersen authored this document and denies that it was ever distributed.

5 Jan, 1982 - First Presidency repeats its 1978 instructions for "interviewing married persons," but adds: "The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure or unholy practice."

15 Oct 1982 - First Presidency instruction to all stake and mission leaders that many letters from church members "indicate clearly that some local leaders have been delving into private, sensitive matters beyond the scope of what is appropriate.... Also, you should never inquire into personal, intimate matters involving marital relations between a man and his wife." Letter continues that even if a church member volunteers such intimate information, "you should not persue the mater but should merely suggest that if the member has enough anxiety about the propriety of the conduct to ask about it, the best course would be to discontinue it." In response to widespread complaints from married couples being asked if they have oral sex, this returns First Presidency stance to what it was prior to presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, now incapacitated.

4 Mar, 1983 - Salt Lake Tribune reports lawsuit filed in February against LDS church for $28 million. A father blames LDS bishop for contributing to his sixteen-year-old son's suicide for conseling his son "that masturbation is a terrible sin.. and being a normal adolescent in the puberty state, KIP ELIASON became increasingly less able to reconcile his sexual desires with the strict doctrines of the said LDS Church. He became filled with self-hate."

15 Apr, 1983 - "University Post: The Unofficial Newspaper of Brigham Young University" reports interview with director of Standards Department. He acknowledges that students suspected of cheating, illegal drug use, stealing, or homosexuality are expelled from BYU if they refuse to take polygraph examination. BYU Security has licensed polygraph examiner.

4 Apr, 1987 - First Counselor Gordon B. Hinckley tells priesthood session of general conference that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices..." This reverses decades-long church policy formulated by Spencer W. Kimball.

9 Aug 1991 - Salt Lake Tribune article, "Of LDS Women, 58% Admit Premarital Sex."
Date: Dec 31 12:16
Author: Deconstructor

Oh for The Love of God How Many Gods do Mormons Have?


If our ideas about God are wrong then we'll be wrong about our other doctrines too, because ultimately all our beliefs stem from our view of God.


Most Mormons are unaware that the LDS church has worshipped three different Gods at various times since their inception. Should they wish to do so, they can check up on this fact for themselves in the LDS archives.

For the first twelve years of their existence, the LDS church believed in, prayed to and worshipped the trinitarian spirit deity. This fact is borne out by their teachings in the 1835 printing of Doctrine and Covenants:
"..... We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are two personages..... They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fullness: the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle..... And he being the only begotten of the Father ..... possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit.." (1835 Doctrine and Covenants, Lecture Fifth of Faith, 5:1-2, pages 52-53, First edition.) (Writer's italics)
The Book of Mormon (written by Joseph Smith at the start of the same time period), also teaches the trinitarian deity; that there always had been only one God in existence, that He was God over all, that He was a spirit being, that He was the first God and would be the last, and that there were no other Gods:
And then Ammon said: Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit? And he said, Yes. And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and on the earth? And he said Yes ........ (Alma 18:26-29)

..... Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God..... (Alma 11:44)

..... the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one ..... (3 Nephi 11:27)

..... to dwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God..... (Mormon 7:7)

Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No. (Alma 11:28-29)

..... there is but one God (Alma 11:35)
It will be noted that Alma 11:44 and 3 Nephi 11:27 quoted above, use the terms Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost interchangeably, and do not differentiate between the two. However, Joseph Smith changed his mind radically concerning his doctrinal stance some time after he had written the Book of Mormon, and in line with his changed doctrines the LDS now teaches that the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit are two separate entities. (There is a link provided at the bottom of this page, to a relevant article entitled, "The LDS Holy Spirit, and Holy Ghost.").

Mormon doctrinal books teach that the Holy Ghost is a spirit personage who, like their God the Heavenly Father, can only be in one place at any one time (LDS Apostle McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, page 359); whereas the Holy Spirit "fills the immensity of space", and permeates all nature (Gospel Doctrine, Volume 1, page 94).


There were no contradictions in LDS literature on the doctrine of God for the first twelve years. In those days Mormonism was similar to protestant Christianity. Then round about 1842 Joseph Smith decided to change his whole theological set-up. This effectively transformed Mormonism into a completely new religion with unbiblical doctrines, teachings and practices that were exclusive to the LDS alone. It also put them fairly and squarely into the category of a non-Christian religion. Not only that, their new teachings contradicted their own Book of Mormon, which they maintained was the most correct book on earth.

Joseph Smith broke the news that he had turned his back both on the God they had been worshipping as well as on his own former teachings, in this way:
"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see ..... God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 345, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith).
In the LDS publication, "Times and Seasons," volume 5, pages 613-614, he reiterated that God was only an exalted man (with a body of flesh and bone), and that ordinary, mortal men could also become Gods. His teachings on this revolutionary, new God are also well documented elsewhere in LDS literature. Here are a few examples:
God is a perfected, saved soul enjoying eternal life. (Second Counselor in the First Presidency, Marion G. Romney, as per Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1977.)

The Father is a glorified, perfected resurrected, exalted man who worked out his own salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same (LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, in "A New Witness for the Articles of Faith," page 64)

God and man are of the same race, differing only in their degree of advancement (Mormon Apostle, Dr. John Widtsoe (1872-1952), in "Gospel Through the Ages," page 107).

God, angels, and men are all of the same species, one race, one great family (Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt, in Key to the Science of Theology, 1978 Edition, page 21).

..... in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 6:474).

How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods .... (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:333).
This radical change in Smith's theology, which was based on his doctrine of eternal progression, is one of the main reasons why Doctrine and Covenants contradicts the book of Mormon in so many places, and also why the Pearl of Great Price contradicts the Book of Mormon. But you will never stumble across the truth as to why these discrepancies exist by listening to the imaginative excuses that are put forward by the LDS church. They are merely smoke screens designed to prevent their membership from realizing that the contradictions are there simply because their doctrines, and the teachings of their prophets, have consistently and radically changed over the years.

This is also the reason why their teachings don't fit in with those of the Bible. The LDS excuse in this case is that evil people removed all the Mormon teachings from the Bible. However, every bit of so-called "proof" that they have put forward to back up this false claim has been decimated by evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, no evidence has ever been found anywhere, in any form, that so much as suggests that there was any knowledge of Mormon doctrine prior to the existence of the LDS church. And the truth of the matter is that the teachings on the deity that the LDS church followed for the first twelve years of their existence are still in the Bible.


Brigham Young, the second president and prophet of the LDS church, introduced the teaching that not only was the LDS God an ordinary, exalted man of flesh and bone, but that he was one man in particular, i.e. Adam (see Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, pages 50-51 and Deseret News June 18, 1873). The LDS tries to cover this up by insisting that his sermon was wrongly reported. But that wasn't the only time that he proclaimed that Adam was the LDS God. According to the LDS's own records, he taught this doctrine extensively and consistently over a period of about twenty five years.
Speaking in the Tabernacle on the morning of October 8, 1861, Young remarked: "I will give you a few words of doctrine, upon which there has been much inquiry, and with regard to which considerable ignorance exists. Br. Watt will write it, but it is not my intention to have it published therefore pay good attention, and store it up in your memories. Some years ago, I advanced a doctrine with regard to Adam being our father and God, that will be a curse to many of the Elders of Israel because of their folly. With regard to it they yet grovel in darkness and will. It is one of the most glorious revealments of the economy of heaven, yet the world holds it [in] derision. Had I revealed the doctrine of baptism from the dead instead [of] Joseph Smith there are men around me who would have ridiculed the idea until doomsday. But they are ignorant and stupid like the dumb ass." (Manuscript Sermon, "A Few Words of Doctrine," Brigham Young Collection, Church Historian's Office, Salt Lake City.)
In all fairness one must admit that this was a very unpopular teaching. And apparently Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt opposed the Adam God doctrine right from the start. But the LDS has a strict rule, and that is that nobody criticizes their prophet, as he is divinely led by God. They also extend this same rule to their other leadership. Whenever their members have questioned this, they have been assured that God will never permit the prophet or the leadership to teach false doctrine or to lead the LDS church into error, or words to that effect. Apostle Pratt was duly warned that he was on the brink of apostasy. When that didn't bring an end to his opposition, he was sent on a mission to the eastern United States, effectively removing him from the Salt Lake area.

But that didn't stem the opposition to this doctrine. In the November and December issues of their "True Latter-Day Saint Herald," the RLDS Church printed a refutation of Brigham's Adam-God doctrine, using the same arguments and scriptures that Pratt had. And they went as far as to urge the LDS church to return to the true God. In his diary under the date of February 3, 1861, John D. Lee, adopted son of Brigham Young, recorded the following:
"Eving attendd Prayer meeting & instructed the Saints on the points of Doctrine refereed to by the true Latterday Saints Herald & their Bombarding Pres. B. Young for Saying that Adam is all the god that we have to do with & to those that know no better, it is quite a stumbling Block... " (A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, The Huntington Library, 1955, Volume 1, page 293.)
As soon as Brigham Young passed away so did his divinely revealed doctrine on the LDS God being Adam. It was soundly refuted by the church leadership and is still a source of great embarrassment to them. So much so that they have done their utmost to cover it up, to the extent of denying outright that there ever had been any such doctrine in the LDS church.

After Young's death, they reverted to worshipping their second God, i.e. an ordinary, exalted man of flesh and bone.

These three contradictory teachings on the Gods the LDS worshipped, each of them taught by their own prophets for many years, cannot all be correct. At least two of the three teachings, involving two of their prophets, must be wrong. Why then does the LDS church persistently maintain the facade that God would never permit their leadership to teach them error?

The LDS prophet Brigham Young had declared that God Himself had revealed this doctrine on Adam being their God, to him. And as the LDS has taken a very firm stance on this revelation on God being wrong, it is akin to their having declared him to have been a false prophet. To cover this up, they insist that Brigham Young was wrongly quoted. However, their own records invalidate this excuse.

In Joseph Smith's case, he claimed from the start that he was leading the LDS church under God's guidance, and that as God's prophet, when he spoke it was the same as if God had spoken. For twelve years he taught them to follow the biblical trinitarian deity, and maintained that God was a spirit being. But then, supposedly also under God's guidance, he persuaded them to turn their backs on their first God and instead worship a different deity — a fallen, redeemed man of flesh and bone. This means that he was radically wrong in one of these cases, and in turn proves him to have been a false prophet.

If you will examine the Bible carefully, you will note that God's true prophets never ever gave false revelations. It was only false prophets who did so. In fact, the Bible teaches that this is the way to discern whether or not a prophet has been sent by God (Deuteronomy 13:1, 18:22).

The fact that the first two LDS prophets were in serious error concerning the deity they worshipped, invalidates their claims about the LDS being the "true church," divinely led, and the sole possessor of God's truth. And if their first two presidents were false prophets, how do they know that the same isn't true of all their other prophets? How can they be sure that their first prophet, Joseph Smith, wasn't sent by the devil to start up a false church and lead them astray? None of the doctrines he introduced lined up with what had already been revealed to us by God Himself, and Smith's Mormon gospel of salvation bears no resemblance to the gospel preached by Christ's own apostles in the New Testament.


The Mormon God, whose name is Elohim, had exactly the same origins as did ordinary mankind, and was also once a sinner who'd needed salvation. In line with the LDS doctrine of eternal progression, at first he'd existed in the form of mere intelligent matter, along with the rest of the inhabitants of the universe. Then when his turn came, he progressed to the level of a spirit being. He did this by being born to an already existing God through one of his plural wives, all of whom had bodies of flesh and bone.

This poses several serious problems, one of which is that our offspring are always genetically exactly like us, in that like always begets like. This idea of the LDS's Heavenly Mother and Father with bodies of flesh and bone producing offspring who were of a different species or class, i.e. only spirit beings, is really weird. It makes us suspect that the doctrine of eternal progression was nothing more than a very imaginative invention of Joseph Smith.

After living in this prior spiritual existence with his Heavenly Father and Mother, Elohim reached the stage where he needed to progress. So he went through the birth process all over again, this time to human parents, both of whom already had bodies of flesh and bone, and who were living on a fallen planet just as we are now. This time he was born with a body of flesh and bone, and his previously biological father in heaven then became his God. (His new human parents were previously his brother and sister, as they had also been spirit children of the same Heavenly Father.)

Because Elohim was an ordinary, sinful, human being he also needed a Redeemer, but in line with LDS doctrine, this was only to ensure that his body would be resurrected after death. In exactly the same way as Mormons do today, he too had to earn his right to personal salvation from sin by living in obedience to LDS laws and ordinances. And one of the requirements for godhood was that he had to be married polygamously for time and eternity in an earthly temple. (He was permitted to marry as many women as he desired, the aim being to reproduce as prolifically as possible, and thereby strengthen his future kingdom.) Then after he had gained the requisite amount of knowledge required for the task, he was exalted to godhood.

Although he is now in the heavenlies, Elohim is not a spirit being, but an exalted man with a body of flesh and bone. He lives on a planet called Kolob with his harem of plural wives. They have bred a myriad of spirit children, consisting of the whole of mankind plus all the angelic beings, including Satan and the demons. And they will continue breeding for eternity. The Lord Jesus was their firstborn. Some time after that the earth we live on now was formed, so that Elohim's spiritual offspring could also be born to human parents and take on bodies of flesh and bone, to enable them to progress eternally, hopefully to godhood, in the same way as he himself had done.

As well as being our actual biological father from a previous heavenly existence, i.e. our "Heavenly Father," Elohim is now also our God. And although he's only one amongst an innumerable number of other gods that exist in the universe, all of whom achieved their godhood the same way as he did, he is the only God with whom we have to do. However, they teach that there is an exception to this. The God of the Israelites was not Elohim, but Jehovah, who was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Although the LDS law of eternal progression decrees that it is necessary to obtain a body of flesh and bone and also to have been married polygamously in a Mormon temple for time and eternity in order to progress to godhood, the LDS Jesus Christ managed to skip these steps and gained godhood anyway because of his intelligence (See the article on the LDS Christ, listed on the home page.)

Before we carry on, we need to understand that according to Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary (and all the other dictionaries too) the word "eternal" means without beginning or end of existence, ceaseless and unchangeable. But in order to try to make their unbiblical deity, who was not always a God, fit in with biblical terminology, the LDS teaches their followers that the word "eternal" is only God's title, and not His description. So just as you would call someone "Mr." Jones, they call their God who was not eternally a God but was once an ordinary man, by the designation "Eternal" God. Along the same vein, when they talk about eternal life they are referring to the type of life lived by a God whose title is "eternal."


According to LDS Apostle John Widtsoe, the Mormon God's omnipresence is fulfilled through the Holy Spirit, which is not to be confused with the Holy Ghost (Evidences and Reconciliation's, pages 76-77). And Brigham Young said:
"Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so" (Journal of Discourses 6:345).
Then too, LDS Apostle James Talmage stated that neither God the Father, nor any other member of the Godhead, can be physically present in more than one place at one time. (The Articles of Faith, page 39). Joseph Smith taught:
"The idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man's heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false" (Doctrines and Covenants 130:3).
Yet again the Book of Mormon contradicts Joseph Smith's teachings on the second LDS God and also the teachings of Doctrine and Covenants, maintaining that the Lord does dwell in the hearts of the righteous. But bear in mind that it was published by Joseph Smith at the time that he too had accepted the biblical teaching that God was Spirit. Here is what he wrote in the Book of Mormon before he'd turned to the worship of an exalted man of flesh and bone:
"And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell" (BOM Alma 34:36).
Contrary to present LDS teachings, the Bible teaches that because God is Spirit (John 4:24) He is omnipresent; meaning that His presence is everywhere simultaneously. The following verses from the Bible disprove the present LDS teaching:
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? (1 Kings 8:27, KJV)

Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:23-24, KJV)


Mormons maintain that we are of the same species as God. Therefore, any sinful, fallen man is able to progress to godhood through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the LDS church, in the same way as God did. Brigham Young delivered a message in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on August 8,1852, in which he said:
"The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself" (Journal of Discourses 3:93).
Both the Journal of Discourses and the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith record that, on April 6, 1844, the LDS prophet Joseph Smith preached to a congregation of 20,000 saying:
"Here then is eternal life; to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods have done before you" (Journal of Discourses 6:4; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 346, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith).
However, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon very clearly teach that there is, and always has been, only one God, that there were no Gods before Him and that there will be none after Him:
I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me (Isaiah 46:9, KJV).
..... before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (Isaiah 43:10, KJV).
I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6, KJV).
"Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No." (BOM, Alma 11:28-29)
"..... there is but one God" (BOM, Alma 11:35)

Joseph Smith Lied

I saw this blog recently by a fellow I have seen around the net named Jesus boy. I actually have seen some great research done by this person and this one was so great I had to share it on my blog.

Joseph Lied….AGAIN
By Chris - Jesus’ Boy

Here is the exact wording of his draft - word for word including spelling mistakes:
marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him (them) and when I considered upon these things my heart exclaimed well hath thewise man said the (it is a) fool (that) saith in his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all Eternity to Eternity and when I considered all these things and that (that) being seeketh such to worship him as worship him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderness and while in (the) attitude of calling upon the Lord (in the 16th year of my age) a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the (Lord) opened the heavens upon me and I saw the Lord and he spake unto me saying Joseph (my son) thy sins are forgiven thee. go thy (way) walk in my statutes and keep my commandments behold I am the Lord of glory I was crucifyed for the world that all those who believe on my name may have Eternal life (behold) the world lieth in sin and at this time and none doeth good no not one they have turned asside from the gospel and keep not (my) commandments they draw near to me with their lips while their hearts are far from me and mine anger is kindling against the inhabitants of the earth to visit them acording to th[e]ir ungodliness and to bring to pass that which (hath) been spoken by the mouth of the prophets and Ap[o]stles behold and lo I come quickly as it [is] written of me in the cloud (clothed) in the glory of my Father and my soul was filled with love and for many days I could reioice with great Joy and the Lord was with me but [I] could find none that would believe the hevnly vision nevertheless I pondered these things in my heart about that time my mother and but after many days Joseph Smith’s Handwritten First Vision (click on the link to the left and see the photographic evidence for yourself)

So if the above version is true why did Joseph change it 6 years later?
If the 1838 account is true, why did he write this draft?
conclusion - obviously both were lies.

Below we can see the major differences between the 1832 account and the 1838 account.

personages = Smith claimed only a vision from Jesus
Seeking God = Bible reading stirred Smith to seek God
Churches wrong = Smith already knew this

personages = Smith claimed a vision of both the Father AND the Son.
Seeking God = A revival motivated Smith to seek God Churches wrong = ‘two personages’ informed Smith that all the churches are wrong

Joseph Smith, Nov. 1835 - “…I received the first visitation of Angels when I was about 14 years old…” Personal writings of Joseph Smith, page 84 [It should be noted that this entry has been changed in the History of the Church, Vol. 2, pg. 312. It now reads "my first vision" instead of "visitation of Angels"]

So in this latest account of the first vision we see Jospeh Smith claiming that it was many angels that visted him.

Now here comes the interesting part: What saith the future leaders of mormonism? what saith his family regarding the alleged first vision?

Brigham Young - “The Lord did not come with the armies of heaven … but He did send his angel to this same obscure person, Joseph Smith jun., who afterwards became a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and informed him that he should not join any of the religious sects of the day, for they were all wrong” Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 171 (1855)

Wilford Woodruff - “The same organization and Gospel that Christ died for … is again established in this generation. How did it come? By the ministering of an holy angel from God, out of heaven, who held converse with man, and revealed unto him the darkness that enveloped the world … He told him the Gospel was not among men, and that there was not a true organization of His kingdom in the world” Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 196 (1855)

Orson Hyde - “Some one may say, ‘If this work of the last days be true, why did not the Saviour come himself to communicate this intelligence to the world?’ Because to the angels was committed the power of reaping the earth, and it was committed to none else.” Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 335 (1854)

George A. Smith - “…he [Joseph Smith] went humbly before the Lord and inquired of Him, and the Lord answered his prayer, and revealed to Joseph, by the ministration of angels , the true condition of the religious world. When the holy angel appeared , Joseph inquired which of all these denominations was right and which he should join, and was told they were all wrong” Journal of Discourses, vol. 12, p. 334 (1863)

George A. Smith - “[Joseph] was enlightened by the vision of an holy angel. When this personage appeared to him, one of the first inquiries was ‘Which of the denominations of Christians in the vicinity was right?’ “ Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 78 (1869)

John Taylor - “None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might join it. The answer was that none of them are right.” Journal of Discourses, vol. 20, p. 167 (1879)

George Q. Cannon - “But suppose that the statement that Joseph Smith says the angel made to him should be true-that there was no church upon the face of the earth whom God recognized as His, and whose acts He acknowledged-suppose this were true…” Journal of Discourses, vol. 24, pg. 135 (1889)

William Smith - “He accordingly went out into the woods and falling upon his knees called for a long time upon the Lord for wisdom and knowledge. While engaged in prayer a light appeared in the heavens, and descended until it rested upon the trees where he was. It appeared like fire. But to his great astonishment, did not burn the trees. An angel then appeared to him and conversed with him upon many things. He told him that none of the sects were right…” William Smith On Mormonism , By William Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother. pg. 5 (1883)

” The angel again forbade Joseph to join any of these churches, and he promised that the true and everlasting Gospel should be revealed to him at some future time. Joseph continues: ‘Many other things did he (the angel) say unto me which I cannot write at this time’ “ Church Historical Record, Vol. 7, January, 1888

Brigham Young - ” Do we believe that the Lord sent his messengers to Joseph Smith, and commanded him to refrain from joining any Christian church, and to refrain from the wickedness he saw in the churches, and finally delivered to him a message informing him that the Lord was about to establish his kingdom on the earth…” Journal of Discourses, Vol. 18, pg. 239

I don’t know about you but i find it strange that Brigham Young who knew Joseph personally, aswell as others knew nothing of a visitation by God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conclusion: Joseph LIED

For more of Jesus Boy's great blogs check out his Mormon section


How Joseph Smith put it all together

Joseph’s Magic Hat

Joseph Smith’s claim of receiving gold plates from a holy angel, has attracted over ten million converts to the Mormon Church, a church which doubles its population every 10 to 12 years at the rate of 840 new members a day.

Where are these amazing gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated? Since they are not on exhibit to confirm their reality, one might humorously say, Joseph must have said “abracadabra” and pulled them from a hat! Laughable; but, in a way, that’s exactly what he did!

Instead of translating directly from the alleged plates, he would put his face into the darkness of a hat which contained a seer stone, and the translation of what he called “Reformed Egyptian Hieroglyphics” would appear. This was a practice known as crystal-gazing or scrying. In following this procedure, Smith claimed that “spiritual light would shine”:

A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and beneath it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear.

Although Smith didn’t say abracadabra, his mother admitted the family practiced this magic incantation:

Let not the reader suppose that . . . we stopped our labor and went at trying to win the faculty of Abrac, drawing magic circles, or soothsaying, to the neglect of all kinds of business. We never during our lives suffered one important interest to swallow up every other obligation.

“Abrac,” is a Jewish Kabbalistic word. It comes from Abracadabra and Abraxis, a word placed upon amulets to work magic. The first four letters, A-b-r-a, are acrostics taken from the first letter of four Hebrew words, Ab which means Father; Ben which means Son, and Ruach Adsch which means Holy Spirit. When written in a triangular form on parchment and hung around the neck, it acted as a charm to heal tooth aches and other ailments.

Masonry, at that time, claimed the use of this faculty and since Joseph’s brother, Hyrum, was a Mason, the family probably learned it from him or from the many books on magic, available at that time.

Joseph and the Occult

Besides seer stones, Joseph’s involvement with the occult also included divining rods, magic circles, sacrifice of animals, and witchcraft.

The family’s involvement in witchcraft was confirmed by Fayette Lapham who, after visiting the Smiths, wrote:

[Joseph’s father] was a firm believer in witchcraft and other supernatural things; and had brought up his family in the same belief.

While one may view this as shocking, one needs to understand the climate of his culture. Belief in magic was not unusual. Mormon Historian, B.H. Roberts, acknowledged that Smith’s family believed in “fortune telling . . . warlocks and witches,” and added that “to be credulous in such things was to be normal people.”

Joseph’s Use of Peep Stones and Divining Rods

Peep stones
Joseph learned to how to use “peep stones” from his father. Joseph Smith, Sr., placing them in a hat, would receive revelation on buried treasure locations. Known as a “money-digger,” he hired out to locate these caches. An affidavit by David Stafford confirmed that “the general employment of the Smith family was money digging and fortune telling.”

Joseph, therefore, naturally followed in his father’s footsteps. Even long before he claimed to find the gold plates of the Book of Mormon through his peep stone, he was finding buried treasure and deciphering ancient writings. In one instance, according to William R. Hein, he gazed into his stone, and:

He saw Captain Kidd sailing on the Susquehanna River during a freshet, and that he buried two pots of gold and silver. He claimed he saw writing cut on the rocks in an unknown language telling where Kidd buried it, and he translated it through his peep-stone.

According to Brigham Young and Martin Harris, it was through a peep stone found in the well of a Mason Chase that Smith located and translated the gold plates. This is, of course, contrary to his later story where he said that it was an angel who directed him to the gold plates.

The stone found in Mason Chase’s well, was first used during Joseph’s occupation as a money-digger. Mormon history refers to it as the “brown” stone. Joseph Smith’s father, when interviewed by Fayette Lapham, said, “Joseph spent about two years looking into this stone, telling fortunes, where to find lost things, and where to dig for money and other hidden treasure.” He also used peep stones to read palms. The Mormon practice of giving patriarchal blessings is, no doubt, the outgrowth of Smith’s fortune-telling practice.

He also had a white stone called the Urim and Thummin. It is with this stone, rather than the brown one, that he claimed to translate the Book of Abraham.

Divining rods
Joseph learned from his father how to use a divining rod in detecting metals and buried treasures. Often called a “mineral rod,” it was similar to dozing for water with a hazel branch.

Mormon leaders have suggested that Smith gave all that up after he started his church. But, this isn’t so. The use of divining rods and peep stones continued after the Mormon Church was established and was carried into his temple ceremony.

According to James Collin Brewster, the Smith family “anointed the mineral rods and seer stones with consecrated oil, and prayed over them in the house of the Lord in Kirtland.” The ritual consisted of putting on temple robes and asking yes or no questions of the mineral rod. If it moved, it meant yes. If there was no movement, it meant no.

To validate the Church’s continued use of a divining rod, Joseph produced a revelation from God: Addressing Oliver Cowdery, the revelation stated:

Now this is not all, for you have another gift, which is the gift of working with the rod: behold it has told you things: behold there is no other power save God, that can cause this rod of nature, to work in your hands.

Since this later proved embarrassing to the church, the revelation was altered to read: “You have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron.” Church leaders probably felt this would sound more acceptable. But, since a divining rod in those days was also known as a “Rod of Aaron,” it was still an occult term.

Joseph’s Use of Magic Circles

The magic circles Joseph’s mother mentioned, in their use of the “faculty of Abrac” to find treasures, were the same as witches use.

For example, William Stafford, a contemporary of Smith tells how Joseph said there was a buried chest of gold watches guarded by an evil spirit. To pacify the spirit, he ordered stakes set up in the form of a circle. He then sent a man to obtain a long knife, or sword, and to march around the spot with drawn weapon to guard against any satanic assaults. (Treasure spirits were usually considered evil and were thought to have the power to kill a person unless appeased by magic circles and blood sacrifices.)

In this activity, Joseph and his father worked in conjunction with each other. Often, while his father was performing this service for customers, Joseph would be in the house using his peep stone to keep track of what the evil spirit was doing. William Stafford again gives an account:

Joseph, Sr. first made a circle, twelve or fourteen feet in diameter. This circle, said he, contains the treasure. He then stuck a row of witch hazel sticks, around the said circles, for the purpose of keeping off the evil spirits. Within this circle he made another, of about eight or ten feet in diameter. He walked around three times on the periphery of this last circle, muttering to himself something which I could not understand. . . .[He then] asked leave of absence, and went to the house to inquire of young Joseph the cause of our disappointment. He soon returned and said, that Joseph had remained all this time in the house, looking in his stone and watching the motion of the evil spirit - that he saw the spirit come up to the ring and as soon as it beheld the cone which we had formed around the rod, it caused the money to sink.

Joseph’s Participation in Animal Sacrifice

Animal sacrifice was part of the treasure divining business. At that time, it was understood that there were both good and bad spirits guarding treasures. According to magic books, “white animals [were] sacrificed to the good Spirits and black to the evil.”

Therefore, Smith procured a black sheep for one occasion, claiming it was the only way to appease the evil spirit of a particular treasure. They were to cut its throat and lead it around in a circle while bleeding. Smith even sacrificed a dog on one occasion.

Mr. Stafford, the owner of the sheep, was later asked by M. Wilford Poulson, if Smith stole a black sheep from him. Stafford’s response was:

No, not exactly . . . he did miss a black sheep, but soon Joseph came and admitted he took it for sacrifice but he was willing to work for it. He made wooden sap buckets to fully pay for it.

A nephew of William Stafford testified:

Jo Smith, the prophet, told my uncle, William Stafford, he wanted a fat, black sheep. He said he wanted to cut its throat and make it walk in a circle three times around and it would prevent a pot of money from leaving.


In addition to Smith’s peep stones and divining rods, he also carried animal sacrifice into his new religion. For example, he refused to let Willard Richards be ordained an apostle unless a lamb was first slaughtered and sacrificed in the temple.

Joseph soon incorporated animal sacrifice into his new priesthood. He stated:

It is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [i.e.] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in [sic] future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets. . . . These sacrifices as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. . . . It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.

Joseph’s Belief in Magic Medallions and Astrology

When Smith was killed, a Jupiter Talisman was found on his body. Displaying Hebrew characters, it was shaped like a silver dollar and made of silver or tin and carried the sign of the spirit of Jupiter.

Former director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah, Dr. Reed C. Durham, Jr. identified it from a magic book available in Smith’s time. He explained that Jupiter was known to the Egyptians as Ammon; Zeus to the Greeks. Jupiter, in the presence of his priest, supposedly performed the most ancient form of marriage, marriage for time and for eternity (sound familiar?).

Since, astrologically speaking, Jupiter stood for many of Smith’s own personal ambitions, he probably selected it for that reason. The Jupiter ambitions consisted of “high positions, [having] one’s own way,” achieving status, and acquiring the “dignity of a natural ruler.” Also of interest, is the fact that in Astrology, Thursday is Jupiter’s day--and for sixty years Mormon fast meetings were always on Thursdays. So also were the Lodge meetings of the Mormon Masons.

Dr. Durham tried to lessen the negative impact of Joseph having the Jupiter medallion, by confirming its appropriateness:

It carries the sign and image of Jupiter . . . And in some very real and quite mysterious sense, this particular Table of Jupiter was the most appropriate talisman for Joseph Smith to possess. Indeed, it seemed meant for him, because on all levels of interpretation: planetary, mythological, numerological, astrological, mystical cabalism, and talismatic magic, the Prophet was, in every case, appropriately described.

Dr. Durham further explains that the magical “purpose of the Table of Jupiter . . . was to be able to call upon the celestial intelligences, assigned to the particular talisman [and] to assist one in all endeavors.” By Invoking the names of these inscribed gods, he said, it guaranteed the possessor of “riches and favor, and power, and love and peace . . . honors, and dignities, and councils . . .”

It also gave one “the power of stimulating anyone to offer his love to the possessor of the talisman.” Certainly, Joseph would need this kind of help in his money-digging ventures, not to mention his spiritual wifery doctrine where he had to convince a woman to become his plural wife while still married to her lawful husband.

Joseph wasn’t the only one in his family involved in this. His brother, Hyrum, also practiced magic. He possessed parchments containing pentagrams and pentacles used in gaining power over spirits and had a Masonic pouch to hold these parchments. He also carried a dagger with the Seal of Mars.

Joseph’s Occult Practices Continued by the LDS Church

Did succeeding church presidents continue in occult practices after Joseph died? Some of them did. Brigham Young wore a chained bloodstone about his neck for those occasions “when [he went] into unknown or dangerous places.”

Brigham Young inherited Oliver Cowdery’s divining rod. This was the rod, or cane, he was often seen with after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley. It was with it that he pointed out where the Salt Lake Temple would be, saying “this is the place”.

Occult symbolism was important to the leaders. When Brigham Young and John Taylor supervised the making of a woodcut seal for the twelve apostles, they copied occult symbols from Jacob Boehme’s Theosophical Works--a book used for two hundred years by Christian Kabbalists and Rosicrucians.

Attitude of the Modern LDS Church

How do present day leaders respond to all this? Mostly, they try to suppress the incriminating evidence. But, when it does leak out, their rationale is to justify it as did Arturo de Hoyos. He writes:

One cannot help but wonder the reason why the Prophet Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum, the Patriarch would possess articles such as they did unless they actually believed that these items did possess some sort of supernatural power, or that they were a “key” to receiving power or protection. Is it possible that just as the Masonic ritual, which Joseph termed the “apostate endowment” retained principles of truth, that these Pentacles which have come down through the ages to be asscociated [sic] with witchcraft, black magic, and the occult as a whole yet contain elements of truth which were recognized by the Prophet?

Joseph’s Necromancing and Contact with the Dead

In addition to Joseph’s occult interests, he was also a necromancer (contact with the dead). Long before he decided to say it was an angel who guarded the gold plates, he said it was the “bloody ghost” of a Spanish spirit. The following was his first story:

Smith said he had a dream in which he was shown the location of an iron box containing gold plates. He went there, found the spot, but claimed he was knocked down three times attempting to remove the stone covering the treasure. He described his experience to two individuals who later published it in the Amboy Journal. Quoting what Smith told them, they described Smith’s frustration:

“Why can’t I get it?” . . . and then he saw a man standing over the spot, which to him appeared like a Spaniard, having a long beard coming down over his breast to about here. [sic](Smith putting his hand to the pit of his stomach) with his (the ghost’s) throat cut from ear to ear, and the blood streaming down, who told him that he could not get it alone; that another person whom he, Smith, would know at first sight, must come with him, and then he could get it.

Smith related the same story to his father, how the ghost told him the valuable treasure contained information soon to be revealed to the world.

As the story developed over the years, the bloody ghost soon became a nameless angel, then an angel named Nephi. Then, finally, Moroni.

Joseph Plagiarizes from the Masonic Legend of Enoch to use in the Book of Mormon

Masonry also played a significant role in the Book of Mormon story. As Smith learned more about Masonic beliefs, he began to weave them into his buried treasure tale. (Although Joseph Smith was not inducted into the Masonic Lodge until March 15, 1842, after his Book of Mormon story, his knowledge of Masonic lore was probably acquired earlier from his brother Hyrum who was a Mason. Books were also in print containing Masonic stories.)

He particularly borrowed heavily from a Masonic myth called the Legend of Enoch. To those familiar with Mormon history, the parallels are self-evident:

Enoch’s legend describes God giving a secret doctrine to Adam in a dream. Adam is shown, in this dream, a gold plate engraved with unknown characters. Among these characters is the Tetragrammaton, the holy name of God.

Based upon what he saw in his dream, Adam makes a similar plate of gold and copies the sacred characters on to it. He hands it down to his son, Seth, who guards it carefully and also passes it on. Finally, it reaches Enoch.

Enoch, then receives a vision of the future. He foresees a world-destroying flood and is shown that the holy treasure will eventually be kept in a secret cavern inside Mount Moriah.

He then proceeds to build an underground cavern to preserve the treasure from the eventual flood. Placing a stone door over the cavern, he erects two pillars, one of marble the other, brass. Upon the marble pillar he engraves the story of the treasure and the history of the Tower of Babel in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

On the second pillar of brass, he engraves the history of creation and the principles of Masonry. Upon the top of the brass pillar he places a metal ball which miraculously solves problems and gives direction. The legend concludes by stating that the treasure will be found by one of Enoch’s Israelitish descendants.

Now, jumping from Enoch to the future King Solomon--after the flood--Solomon’s masons, while building the King’s temple on the hill Moriah, come across pieces of the treasure, although not yet the gold plate. They turn their findings over to the King. Solomon then places the treasure in a secret underground vault beneath the temple, just as Enoch saw in his vision. Solomon instructs the three men to go back to the ruins and see if they can find more of the treasure.

Upon doing so, they come across the stone covering Enoch’s cave. After three attempts to descend into the cave, they finally obtain the gold plate, noticing that “the brilliancy of the plate and jewels are of themselves sufficient to give light to the cavern.”

Delivering the gold plate to King Solomon, he places it in his underground vault along with the breastplate of the High Priest of Israel and the Urim and Thummin. Solomon then changes the status of the vault from “secret” to “sacred” and allows only a few to see the plate.

The following summarizes the comparisons:

Joseph’s Motive in Producing the Book of Mormon

Was Smith’s only objective in producing the Book of Mormon, to promote the Masonic Legend of Enoch? No. There were three other contributing motives.

The first . . . Smith simply loved to con people and took advantage of his imaginative powers. His mother tells how Smith would often entertain the family for hours relating stories of how the ancient Americans dressed and acted, about their cities, warfare and religion long before he came up with the idea of writing the Book of Mormon.

His enjoyment at fooling people was well known, and reported in affidavits by Smith’s contemporaries. For example, after a rain shower, Smith discovered some white sand. He “tied up several quarts of it [in his ‘frock’] and then went home.” His family was eager to know what he had. Smith later told Peter Ingersol:

At that moment I happened to think about a history found in Canada, called the Golden Bible; so I very gravely told them it was the Golden Bible. To my surprise they were credulous enough to believe what I said.

The second motive? He wanted to answer the big question of the day--are the Indians transplanted Israelites?

This was a hot topic. As early as 1634, Joseph Mede was questioning the origin of the Indians. By 1650 writer Thomas Thorowgood decided they were the Lost Tribes of Israel. In 1775 and 1816 Elias Boudinot and James Adair brought the idea to the forefront again. Newspapers in Smith’s locale also speculated on the origin of the Indians.

Then, in 1823, Ethan Smith wrote, View of the Hebrews, in an attempt to explain the absence of a recorded history for the American Indians. Although Smith borrowed much from Ethan Smith’s book, his idea for the Book of Mormon in the first place, was probably triggered by a magician named Walters:

[Walters] had an old copy of Cicero’s Orations, in the Latin language, out of which he read [in] an unintelligible jargon, which he would afterwards pretend to interpret, and explain, as a record of the former inhabitants of America, and a particular account of the numerous situations where they deposited their treasures previous to their final [destruction].

Joseph, spurred on by public interest in the subject and influenced by both Walters and Ethan Smith’s book, hit on the idea that he would be the one to provide the recorded history.

But, this required some ingenuity. If his story was going to cover Lamanite settlements in South America and Nephites in Central America, how was he going to get their sacred records to the state of New York, three thousand miles away, for him to find fifteen hundred years later? Obviously, he had to invent a character who would carry them there.

But, common sense asks why the character Mormon, or his son Moroni, would travel three thousand miles on foot when they could have buried the plates closer to home? In addition, how could they have transported as many heavy gold plates as Smith describes?

The third motive? The Book of Mormon provided Smith with an outlet for his fascination with Masonic mysteries.

However, it gradually grew to be more than just fascination. Smith admits, in a letter to John Hull, that what he really wanted was to produce a truer and higher level of Masonry. Not just for the United States, but world-wide. Intrigued with this concept, he began using Masonic vocabulary in his sermons, such as the “nail in a sure place,” later to become part of the temple ceremony. He also interjected the motifs of the sun, moon, planets and stars. (These motifs, however, didn’t originate with Masonry. They were a blend of Rosicrucian, Alchemic, Kabbalistic and Hermetic symbols of which the sun and moon were part.)

Joseph’s Use of Masonic Emblems

In the temple in Salt Lake City, and large conference rooms were fashioned like Masonic Lodges and temples, and Masonic emblems were used extensively. This was because Smith believed “the whole earth was compared symbolically to a Grand Masonic Lodge, the counterpart of which was the Grand Lodge in the eternal regions of Glory.”

The temple displays the Masonic All-seeing Eye, used by many ancient religions. Occult literature reveals it as the Diva, or the Cyclopean Eye, the ancient third eye of spiritual insight used by the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks and other pagan religions. Later, it was adopted by Hermetic philosophers as “the sacred emblem of a perpetual divine and uncreated intelligence.” In the Christian context, it was changed to mean the eye of Jehovah. Mormons, today, claim the latter.

On the temple walls one can also see the Masonic phrase, “Holiness to the Lord,” as well as the compass and clasped hands. Even the weathervane of the Nauvoo temple, with its small angel, exhibited the square and compass.

The Beehive emblem was also utilized later as a symbol for the Mormon State by Brigham Young. This emblem, used in earlier centuries by Christian Hermetics, later entered Freemasonry.

Contrary to what many assume, the beehive did not represent physical industry. Metaphorically, it represented one’s inner soul, with the industry of the bee illustrative of the spiritual labor required for the alchemic transmutation of the individual, or dark matter, into gold. This is the basis for the Mormon belief that one may be transformed into a god. Herman R. Bangerter explains that if one is worthy of wearing the symboll of the square and compass on his or her garments, and continues faithfully in the service of the Master, he will receive the spiritual light, which will enable him or her to unite the physical and the spiritual, and through the process of Divine Alchemy, change the mortal corruptible body into a Celestial Body and thereby have eternal life. In the St. George, Utah Tabernacle (not the temple), there still remains, on a mock fireplace, a round circle resting on the horizontal arm of a cross. Occult writer Madame Blavatsky explains in her Secret Doctrine, that this is the “Venus’ looking-glass,” a symbol of human procreation and also the “sacred cross of Egypt” as carried in the hands of the gods, the Pharaohs and the mummified dead.

In the temple ceremony itself, there is the apron, special handshakes, oaths and penalties, the five points of fellowship, special garments with markings of the square and compass, and giving of a new name--all taken from Masonry.

Probably the most astounding admission by a Mormon scholar on Joseph’s plagiarism of Masonry, was Dr. Reed Durham, Jr.:

The Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry. This is not to suggest that no other source of inspiration could have been involved, but the similarities between the two ceremonies are so apparent and overwhelming that some dependent relationship cannot be denied. They are so similar, in fact, that one writer was led to refer to the Endowment as Celestial Masonry.

While members of the Mormon Church believe every jot and tittle of Mormonism, especially the temple ceremony, was received by revelation, one is reminded of Dr. Durham’s admission about the similarities to Masonry, “To explain them only as coincidence,” he says, “would be ridiculous.”

Joseph’s Use of “Clangs”

To purposely disguise any Masonic connection to his new religion, Smith used clangs--word-inventions intended to mask words.

For example, according to the Tanners, it is believed he incorporated “the first three letters of Moriah (M-O-Riah) . . . and the last three letters of Solomon (SoloM-O-N)”, to come up with Mor-mon, which is both the name of his sacred book and the name of its main character.

Another clang is Mahonri Moriancumer, the name of a character in the Book of Ether. According to Dr. Durham, the last name, Moriancumer, could easily be “a compound of ‘Moriah,’ the sacred hill where Solomon stored Enoch’s treasure--and ‘Cumorah,’ the sacred hill where the new Enoch [Smith] found his treasure plates.”

Moriancumer’s first name, Mahonri, according to Walter F. Prince, is “clang” for Masonry. This is achieved by replacing the s in Masonry with an h and changing the y to i. Therefore, Mahonri Moriancumer, “divested of ‘clang’ is Masonry Moriah Cumorah.”

Joseph’s Desire for Occult Revelation and Secret Ceremonies

The reason Joseph was so attracted to Masonry, was because he believed the Masonic ceremony contained rituals and doctrines practiced by the ancient Eleusinians and the Greek mystery religions. He was convinced they contained secrets handed down from Adam. Dr. Durham acknowledged this by saying that Joseph Smith accepted Masonry because ”he recognized true Ancient Mysteries contained therein.”

Smith, however, chose not to stick with the Masonic Lodge, but start his own. Why?

He became convinced that Masonic teachings, handed down from the Hermetic Magi, Babylon, Chaldea, Egypt and the Kabbalah, had been distorted over time. He felt that further back, there was an original truth, a purer Masonry. Joseph’s objective was to get to the very root of things and have a religion he could claim contained the most primordial doctrines--ones that originated as close to the beginning of time as possible.

Dr. Durham further confirmed this by saying that Smith “believed he was restoring Masonry’s original pristine brilliancy, and re-creating the original Mysteries of the ancient Priesthood.” Smith also incorporated ideas from the ancient Eleusinian mysteries gleaned from the Encyclopaedia Britannia and other available sources in 1837.

What other aspect of the shrouded teachings and doctrines of these cultic mysteries, fascinated Joseph? They could only be passed on to those made worthy through ritualistic ceremonies.

These ancient rituals included washings and anointings, oaths and penalties, a new name, special garments, covenants of chastity, achieving godhood and special passwords to enable one to pass by the sentries who guard the gates of heaven.

Most of these ancient ceremonies were taken up with initiates watching live actors in a drama--not much different from today’s temple ceremony. (Temple participants today, view most of the drama by watching actors in a movie.)

The idea of the temple drama was originally used in the Rosicrucian order, then incorporated into French Masonry in 1750. Known as allegorical “mystery plays”, they taught rituals which were “fundamentally Hermetic-Kabbalistic”. Of further interest is the 28th Degree of the Scottish rite, also known as “the Rite de Perfection,” which was “administered in a room painted like a vast garden, with open fields, forests, and mountains.” Similar murals adorn Mormon temple walls.

In a way, Smith’s desire to find God’s original revelation, was a noble endeavor. However, the deceit of the whole matter was that the ideas gleaned from the ancient mystery cults, including the Kaballah, he passed off as revelation from the Holy Ghost:

Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost . . . But I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and he is within me, and comprehends more than all the world; and I will associate myself with him.

Joseph was very taken up with the Jewish Kaballah (the mystical, esoteric tradition of Judaism, claiming the original knowledge Adam received from God). His diary admits that he studied with a Jewish convert, Alexander Neibauer who had an extensive library on the Kabbalah. (”Freemasonry adopted portions of the Kabbalah into its third degree, the Royal Arch, and into some of the higher grades.”)

Faithful members believed his new insights were revealed from God. A year after his study with Neibauer, at the funeral of a man named King Follett, he began teaching some of these complex insights, gleaned from the Kaballah and other sources, his more famous one being the following:

[In the beginning] the head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world . . . The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is [co-eternal] with God himself . . . God . . . is an exalted man . . . we have got to learn how to be gods . . . the same as all gods have done before.

Also influenced by the Kabbalistic concept that sacred revelation was progressive and open-ended, he felt he could receive a higher and more advanced revelation of God, and he thus began to receive his own revelations.

Many argue that Joseph Smith was uneducated, a statement promoted by Mormon leaders.

But, he was no dummy. He may have been illiterate in the beginning, but he became an avid learner while Neibaur tutored him. Smith had Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek New Testaments. Whether he could read them all is debatable; however, LDS history says he could read the German New Testament.

A look at the Modern LDS Church

Today’s Mormons argue that while all this may be true about Joseph Smith, the Church today no longer believes all that “superstitious stuff” “They have high morals, excellent ethics and standards, etc.”

But, there is something missing in this presumption. Mormonism’s foundation rests upon a man which God, in Deuteronomy 18:9-14, warns about:

Let no one be found among you . . . who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.

Further, two Presidents of the Mormon Church said, ”Joseph Smith is the foundation of this church,” and “Mormonism . . . must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith,” If so, it is, therefore, important to examine the life and claims of Joseph Smith closely. If he, as the foundation of their church, is proved false, then all the doctrines of Mormonism must also be false.

Some may continue to argue, “At least Mormons believe in Christ!”

But, even the most radical cults preach Christ. Mormonism, typical of other cults, teaches that faith in Jesus and what he did on the cross is not “enough” for salvation. Brigham Young taught that full salvation (exaltation in the highest heaven) can only come through acceptance of and final say-so of Joseph Smith, not through the grace of Christ:

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. Every man and woman must have the certification of Joseph Smith, Junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are.

[There is] no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him [Joseph Smith] . . . we cannot get around him.

Even non-Mormons might be tempted to say, “Well, let’s not hold Joseph Smith against the Mormon Church--look how far they’ve come! They no longer believe in divining rods or peep stones, and present day leaders certainly don’t engage in occult practices like animal sacrifice and magic circles.”

But the issue is not that they don’t practice them anymore. The issue is--that is what their church was built upon!

A true church must line up with all of God’s Word. Can we imagine God allowing his Old Testament prophets to indulge in magic and occult activities? In this respect, Smith’s reputation was so bad that he was refused membership in the Methodist Church.

When Joseph Smith asked to join the Methodist church the preacher, unaware of his occult activities, put his name on the rolls. Eventually, however, a board member, Joseph Lewis, heard about it and objected. He said, “Joseph’s manner of life rendered him unfit to be a member.” Smith was asked to withdraw unless he wanted to recant, confess, and reform himself. Smith refused. Later, in the Amboy paper, Lewis, along with a local preacher, Joshua McKune, explained:

We thought it was a disgrace to the church to have a practicing necromancer, a dealer in enchantments and bleeding ghosts . . . his occupation, habits and moral character were at variance with the discipline [and] his name would be a disgrace to the church.

Therefore, it makes no difference whether Mormons have high ethics or profess a belief in Christ. If the foundation is not built upon Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone, it’s false.

Often it is asked: “Why don’t Mormon leaders wipe the slate clean and tell the truth to their members about Joseph Smith? Why don’t they gradually get rid of unbiblical beliefs and build their church around their high ethics and a Biblical belief in Jesus?”

But, Mormon leaders find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Knowing, as they do, the facts about Joseph Smith, they realize that if they admit to them, they chance destroying the faith of their members. Therefore, out of necessity they have to continue white-washing the image of Joseph Smith and extolling the divine foundation of the church.

As a result, Mormons continue to be deceived, along with many unsuspecting converts, who are not told certain Mormon doctrines up front, but led to believe they are joining another Christian church.

One must not be gullible but discerning, like the Bereans in Acts 17 who were praised by Paul because they tested everything he said by the Scriptures.

First Thessalonians 5:21says one must prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. Is the following good?


· Joseph was involved in the use of peep stones, divining rods, witchcraft, astrology, blood sacrifices, necromancy, and magic circles.

· Joseph continued to rely upon these methods when he started his church, incorporating them into his temple ceremony along with rituals from ancient mystery religions.

· Everything Smith introduced into his new church, he passed off as divine revelation and requirements for salvation.

· To translate the Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham, he used the same peep stones used as a money-digger and palm reader.

· Many of the events pertaining to the Book of Mormon, were taken from the Masonic Legend of Enoch.

· Joseph Smith told conflicting stories on how he found the plates:

1. He found them through a brown seer stone (according to Brigham Young and Martin Harris).
2. Joseph claimed he received them from a Spanish ghost.
3. Joseph claimed he received them through a dream
4. Joseph claimed they were received from a nameless angel.
5. Then, through an angel named Nephi.
6. Lastly, through an angel named Moroni.

No individual, knowing the truth about the Mormon Church’s occult background, could possibly follow Joseph Smith as a prophet or embrace his teachings.

*Copyright 2003. This article cannot be copied and used in a professional publication without express permission of the author.