Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 55

Thread: Random thoughts I had about Mormons, Joseph Smith, and the future of the Church, etc

  1. #1

    Random thoughts I had about Mormons, Joseph Smith, and the future of the Church, etc

    I didn't think this fit directly into the General Conference thread, but some of these thoughts came from watching GC this past weekend (or two) ago.

    Anyways, it made for interesting discussion at home and thought it would here as well.

    Thought #1:

    What would the Church be like today if Joseph Smith had not been shot in Illinois, but instead lead the Saints to Utah. JS was very liberal by today's standards and did some pretty outrageous things in his time, that would have him labeled as a left wing nut today, such as:

    - Gave priesthood to AA.
    - Ran for President where his platform was to free slaves
    - Had multiple sexual partners
    - Made his followers engage in communism for a time (law of consecration)
    - Tried to control the banks/money of Mormons
    - Rumors that he allowed women to give blessings (priesthood)

    How different is the Church today if he was still alive and BY was never prophet? Do we ever have the no AA holding the priesthood (especially since the Church recently threw BY under the bus with that revelation...er...policy?*) issue? What about women and priesthood? Would it be okay nowadays? I know that certain revelations have been changed by the Church that JS received that originally implied women would get the priesthood, but have been changed to "clarify" the revelation.

    Thought #2:

    My other thought I had was listening to conference and all the talks on LGBT's and the churches stance on the issue. My thoughts drifted back to my dad's day in the Church, when it was taught that AA would NEVER hold the priesthood (at least not until the second coming), the Church wouldn't give AA the discussions, etc. At that time, my dad was a young convert in his late teens (19). He had different attitudes towards AA than the older leaders of the church.

    As my dad's generation grew older, and eventually took over the leadership of the church, the stance on AA changed, which culminated with the Church basically calling BY a racist and saying the no priesthood for AA was not revelation at all.

    What will happen when my generation takes over the church, and even those younger than me, who grow up more "liberal" in their views of women and the priesthood and LGBT's and temples, marriage, etc? Which Apostle that spoke today will get thrown under the bus then for his revelatio...er...policies?

    Interesting stuff, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Church over the next 50-100 years.

    *From the Church website about AA, Brigham Young, and the Priesthood:

    "The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans.

    "In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.

    "In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination." (Interesting that here it is just a "policy" while it was taught as doctrine pre-1978)

    https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-...thood?lang=eng

    NOW, this is not a slam on the Church at all. I am a full fledged, fully faithful, member of the Church. I'm in all the way baby. Just some thoughts I've had about what has happened recently with all the political bickering, and with the Church's announcement about AA's and the priesthood and how they are dealing with the whole LGBT and Women and the Priesthood issues.

    Any thoughts? Am I a wolf in sheep's clothing?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Utah View Post
    I didn't think this fit directly into the General Conference thread, but some of these thoughts came from watching GC this past weekend (or two) ago.

    Anyways, it made for interesting discussion at home and thought it would here as well.

    Thought #1:

    What would the Church be like today if Joseph Smith had not been shot in Illinois, but instead lead the Saints to Utah. JS was very liberal by today's standards and did some pretty outrageous things in his time, that would have him labeled as a left wing nut today, such as:

    - Gave priesthood to AA.
    - Ran for President where his platform was to free slaves
    - Had multiple sexual partners
    - Made his followers engage in communism for a time (law of consecration)
    - Tried to control the banks/money of Mormons
    - Rumors that he allowed women to give blessings (priesthood)

    How different is the Church today if he was still alive and BY was never prophet? Do we ever have the no AA holding the priesthood (especially since the Church recently threw BY under the bus with that revelation...er...policy?*) issue? What about women and priesthood? Would it be okay nowadays? I know that certain revelations have been changed by the Church that JS received that originally implied women would get the priesthood, but have been changed to "clarify" the revelation.

    Thought #2:

    My other thought I had was listening to conference and all the talks on LGBT's and the churches stance on the issue. My thoughts drifted back to my dad's day in the Church, when it was taught that AA would NEVER hold the priesthood (at least not until the second coming), the Church wouldn't give AA the discussions, etc. At that time, my dad was a young convert in his late teens (19). He had different attitudes towards AA than the older leaders of the church.

    As my dad's generation grew older, and eventually took over the leadership of the church, the stance on AA changed, which culminated with the Church basically calling BY a racist and saying the no priesthood for AA was not revelation at all.

    What will happen when my generation takes over the church, and even those younger than me, who grow up more "liberal" in their views of women and the priesthood and LGBT's and temples, marriage, etc? Which Apostle that spoke today will get thrown under the bus then for his revelatio...er...policies?

    Interesting stuff, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Church over the next 50-100 years.

    *From the Church website about AA, Brigham Young, and the Priesthood:

    "The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans.

    "In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.

    "In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination." (Interesting that here it is just a "policy" while it was taught as doctrine pre-1978)

    https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-...thood?lang=eng

    NOW, this is not a slam on the Church at all. I am a full fledged, fully faithful, member of the Church. I'm in all the way baby. Just some thoughts I've had about what has happened recently with all the political bickering, and with the Church's announcement about AA's and the priesthood and how they are dealing with the whole LGBT and Women and the Priesthood issues.

    Any thoughts? Am I a wolf in sheep's clothing?
    History tells us they will change. History tells us that women will receive the priesthood.

    History tells us that Gays will one day be welcomed in the church.

    When the old leaders and the old tithe payers die off, the new group will evolve. But the damage will already be done.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Utah View Post
    Am I a wolf in sheep's clothing?
    Get thee behind me Satan.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Utah View Post
    I didn't think this fit directly into the General Conference thread, but some of these thoughts came from watching GC this past weekend (or two) ago.

    Anyways, it made for interesting discussion at home and thought it would here as well.

    Thought #1:

    What would the Church be like today if Joseph Smith had not been shot in Illinois, but instead lead the Saints to Utah. JS was very liberal by today's standards and did some pretty outrageous things in his time, that would have him labeled as a left wing nut today, such as:

    - Gave priesthood to AA.
    - Ran for President where his platform was to free slaves
    - Had multiple sexual partners
    - Made his followers engage in communism for a time (law of consecration)
    - Tried to control the banks/money of Mormons
    - Rumors that he allowed women to give blessings (priesthood)

    How different is the Church today if he was still alive and BY was never prophet? Do we ever have the no AA holding the priesthood (especially since the Church recently threw BY under the bus with that revelation...er...policy?*) issue? What about women and priesthood? Would it be okay nowadays? I know that certain revelations have been changed by the Church that JS received that originally implied women would get the priesthood, but have been changed to "clarify" the revelation.

    Thought #2:

    My other thought I had was listening to conference and all the talks on LGBT's and the churches stance on the issue. My thoughts drifted back to my dad's day in the Church, when it was taught that AA would NEVER hold the priesthood (at least not until the second coming), the Church wouldn't give AA the discussions, etc. At that time, my dad was a young convert in his late teens (19). He had different attitudes towards AA than the older leaders of the church.

    As my dad's generation grew older, and eventually took over the leadership of the church, the stance on AA changed, which culminated with the Church basically calling BY a racist and saying the no priesthood for AA was not revelation at all.

    What will happen when my generation takes over the church, and even those younger than me, who grow up more "liberal" in their views of women and the priesthood and LGBT's and temples, marriage, etc? Which Apostle that spoke today will get thrown under the bus then for his revelatio...er...policies?

    Interesting stuff, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Church over the next 50-100 years.

    *From the Church website about AA, Brigham Young, and the Priesthood:

    "The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans.

    "In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.

    "In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination." (Interesting that here it is just a "policy" while it was taught as doctrine pre-1978)

    https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-...thood?lang=eng

    NOW, this is not a slam on the Church at all. I am a full fledged, fully faithful, member of the Church. I'm in all the way baby. Just some thoughts I've had about what has happened recently with all the political bickering, and with the Church's announcement about AA's and the priesthood and how they are dealing with the whole LGBT and Women and the Priesthood issues.

    Any thoughts? Am I a wolf in sheep's clothing?
    On one hand if you think the church really is being guided by God then the answer to your question would be, "The church would be largely the same." If you believe that the church is being guided by God but he lets us puny humans make mistakes and often interpret things how we may, then it might be a bit different than what you see today. I supposed if JS were to live and come to Utah, he would have continued to baptize and ordain black people and if there was a larger group of them, it would be a much harder bell to unring and there is a good chance that policy doesn't come into place.

    Conversely, rumors of multiple wives, prominent place for blacks within a congregation and perhaps interracial marriages in the Rocky Mountains might have lead to more heavy-handed military tactics against the Mormons, and certainly that would have altered the face of the church. I might even argue that while Brigham Young was a lion when it came to various government interferences, Joseph Smith would have been a firecracker and I could see things escalating very badly.

    Reading a biography whose name escapes me right now written by a non-LDS guy about Brigham Young (recently released to much acclaim) Brigham Young was in his younger years and with Joseph Smith directly often the voice of gentleness and moderation. Yeah, really.

    If you are really interested in this type of discussion and how the LDS church is today vs what it was like back in the day you might want to spend some time chatting with Midnight Version from UF.n. He is a polygamist living in Northern AZ (not part of the FLDS group, but a group that broke off when the Jeffs clan started taking over and raping little girls). I would say his church is much closer to the Brigham Young version of the church than the LDS church is as presently constituted. I've gathered that they have no fondness for Heber J Grant (but don't mind Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow).

    Going back to what the church might be like, after reading that biography though I'm actually convinced that Brigham Young became the person he was and had to be so that the saints could even survive. He was undoubtedly a tyrant in many ways, but often a tyrant was needed to keep people alive and the church together. I don't know that Joseph Smith had that in him, and it is very possible that he would have had to change who he was to be more like the transformation BY made, or the church would have failed.

    The 'unquestioned authority' of church leadership came largely from that time. That in mind, had that aspect not been ingrained in the church a reversal on that policy may have come much sooner, probably in David O McKay's day.

    Since I'm all over the place today (running a high fever) I'll also say I thought that Dallin Oaks talk in priesthood session actually opened the doors for more female involvement in prominent leadership roles. If priesthood offices and keys are only for men in this dispensation, but priesthood authority is given to all within their respective spheres, why then can't that authority be given to women for other roles that traditionally haven't been theirs... like say a ward clerk or executive secretary? Or to sit in on disciplinary courts etc?

  5. #5
    I just closed a PowerPoint presentation that included in the file name Final v5b. The presentation is tomorrow, so I'm satisfied that this is the real final version. If that presentation gets postponed for a month, I'm sure that there will be some additional alterations and revised iterations, and versions Final v6, v7, etc. will come and go.

    I think that's similar to any church that has an impending end-times belief. Everyone thinks they're dealing with the final version. They'll tweak the things they feel need to be tweaked but don't really think there's a posibility that someone else will come along and tweak it again later to fit a different set of evolving beliefs.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    History tells us they will change. History tells us that women will receive the priesthood.

    History tells us that Gays will one day be welcomed in the church.

    When the old leaders and the old tithe payers die off, the new group will evolve. But the damage will already be done.
    I agree, not sure I agree about the damage part. We humans are a very forgiving bunch. The AA/priesthood issue hasn't really hurt the church and I don't when the policies change, it will hold the church back either.

    So, overall, society and the church won't be damaged after they change these policies. Individuals, on the other hand...

  7. #7
    Awesome responses. I'll try to respond when I'm not on a phone. Interesting stuff.

    I can see the BY changing to survive bit. We all do that, don't we? I own a business and I would LOVE to give people a task and the forget about it. That bit me hard core and I've had to change my management style (still changing, in fact and probably will always be changing). I get that.

    Good analogy jr.

  8. #8
    The act for which Joseph Smith was jailed, the destruction of a free press, was seen at the time as an act of treason against the United States (iirc). Joseph Smith would likely have spent a decade in a federal prison, and far away from his base of influence. Also the government of Nauvoo (the Council of Fifty) would almost assuredly be disbanded by presdure from the State due to their action in destroying the press. (Council of Fifty passed a resolution to destroy the press and burn all printed copies of the paper, and many of them participated in the action).

    I believe the polygamy faction would likely have left Nauvoo as did several other splinter groups, but would have been significantly smaller than the group who eventually migrated West with Brigham Young. I do not believe Brigham would have coalesced so much power without a martyr around whom to rally the Saints. Brigham Young's group may well have taken a similar path to Joseph Strang and the Strangites (look up the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- no hyphen, capital 'D'). Perhaps a larger group would have stayed in Nauvoo, and the Community of Christ would now be the larger faction.

  9. #9
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    15,568
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    The act for which Joseph Smith was jailed, the destruction of a free press, was seen at the time as an act of treason against the United States (iirc). Joseph Smith would likely have spent a decade in a federal prison, and far away from his base of influence. Also the government of Nauvoo (the Council of Fifty) would almost assuredly be disbanded by presdure from the State due to their action in destroying the press. (Council of Fifty passed a resolution to destroy the press and burn all printed copies of the paper, and many of them participated in the action).
    Richard Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling doesn't see it this way. Also, I'll be honest: based on what the historical record says, I have no patience with efforts to lay blame on Joseph Smith for his own murder -- and that's what it was. I feel the same way about Hahn's Mill and all the other atrocities. A person does not have to accept the LDS truth claims or even feel any affection for the church in order to see who were the perps and who were the victims in the persecutions of early Mormons.

    Utah, at the risk of over-simplifying, if one believes the church is God's church it seems pointless to me to wonder about what would have happened if a particular prophet had lived longer. We can play that game with just about every president of the church.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Utah, at the risk of over-simplifying, if one believes the church is God's church it seems pointless to me to wonder about what would have happened if a particular prophet had lived longer. We can play that game with just about every president of the church.
    I do agree with this. Every prophet brought his own strengths to the calling, and was unique in his own way. Each one has had a pivotal part in growing the Church as well. The whole BY thing came to mind just form hearing the GA talk about GLBT's and then they recently put out the article explaining away the "policy" that concerns AA.

    That led to talks of everything becoming more liberal, then to JS and how liberal he is.

    It's just interesting, that's all.

    And as far as JS being ferreted away in prison, I doubt it. He had already talked about going west, had already built up/been run out of towns, and had he been freed, he would have led the Saints out West.

    What would have happened to him out West, who knows. Maybe a Lion was needed to build up the Deseret in the desert. Maybe JS would have been too liberal and not strict enough. Who knows.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    There are a lot of other what if games that are more fun.

    What if there had never been a BYU? How would that have affected Utah athletics?

    What if the Mormon Battalion had fought in and won a pivotal battle?

    What if there had been gold in the Uintas?

    What if the pioneers had loved "Scatter Sunshine" instead of "Come Come Ye Saints"?

    What if the Great Salt Lake had been freshwater?
    I wonder about the battalion. Would Utah had tried to fight off the US Army, wiping themselves out? Gold in the Uintas? The US government would have taken it away from Utah, like they did Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, etc.

    A much less rousing fight song.

    SL would be the epicenter of the West. We would be 20 million plus.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Utah View Post
    I wonder about the battalion. Would Utah had tried to fight off the US Army, wiping themselves out? Gold in the Uintas? The US government would have taken it away from Utah, like they did Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, etc.

    A much less rousing fight song.

    SL would be the epicenter of the West. We would be 20 million plus.
    A little off topic, but I was in Old Town San Diego a few weeks back and while waiting for my dinner appointment I wandered into the Mormon Battalion historic site. I was greeted by a lovely sister missionary from South Carolina and led into a small room with one other family (my guess, non-mormon) for the start of the "tour."

    To my horror, the tour consisted of talking picture frames (ala the Haunted House at Disneyland), the sister missionary engaged in some terribly scripted acting with the talking picture ghosts, and a movie about the Battalion (during which the sister missionary began dancing and playing the spoons during the climactic dance scene). Applejack left at this point. It was a bizarre mixture of disneyland, the Legacy movie, and church. Have other church historical sites taken on this bizarre tone as well?

  13. #13
    That is very strange indeed. We still have some crazies running around, but I guess every organization does. And sometimes those crazies get a little too high in the pecking order and their ideas go unchecked.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    A little off topic, but I was in Old Town San Diego a few weeks back and while waiting for my dinner appointment I wandered into the Mormon Battalion historic site. I was greeted by a lovely sister missionary from South Carolina and led into a small room with one other family (my guess, non-mormon) for the start of the "tour."

    To my horror, the tour consisted of talking picture frames (ala the Haunted House at Disneyland), the sister missionary engaged in some terribly scripted acting with the talking picture ghosts, and a movie about the Battalion (during which the sister missionary began dancing and playing the spoons during the climactic dance scene). Applejack left at this point. It was a bizarre mixture of disneyland, the Legacy movie, and church. Have other church historical sites taken on this bizarre tone as well?

    One of the most annoying aspects of the Mormon church is their inability to leave you alone at church history sites. I would just like to look around. I don't need missionaries to bear their testimony to me 19 times and try to control the conversation and everything that any visitor is doing or saying. I feel like I am back at zone conference on my mission.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    One of the most annoying aspects of the Mormon church is their inability to leave you alone at church history sites. I would just like to look around. I don't need missionaries to bear their testimony to me 19 times and try to control the conversation and everything that any visitor is doing or saying. I feel like I am back at zone conference on my mission.
    It's like walking around a RC Willey.

  16. #16
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    15,568
    Quote Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
    A little off topic, but I was in Old Town San Diego a few weeks back and while waiting for my dinner appointment I wandered into the Mormon Battalion historic site. I was greeted by a lovely sister missionary from South Carolina and led into a small room with one other family (my guess, non-mormon) for the start of the "tour."

    To my horror, the tour consisted of talking picture frames (ala the Haunted House at Disneyland), the sister missionary engaged in some terribly scripted acting with the talking picture ghosts, and a movie about the Battalion (during which the sister missionary began dancing and playing the spoons during the climactic dance scene). Applejack left at this point. It was a bizarre mixture of disneyland, the Legacy movie, and church. Have other church historical sites taken on this bizarre tone as well?
    I've never seen that at any other historical site. That one may be exceptional because there's a guy whose brother is a member of the Q12, lives in SoCal, and is very, very, very into the Battalion. He has made his mission to make sure they are honored appropriately and he has somehow acquired responsibility for that effort. He's gotten away with making several over-the-top memorials happen. I sense his fingerprints on this one.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I've never seen that at any other historical site. That one may be exceptional because there's a guy whose brother is a member of the Q12, lives in SoCal, and is very, very, very into the Battalion. He has made his mission to make sure they are honored appropriately and he has somehow acquired responsibility for that effort. He's gotten away with making several over-the-top memorials happen. I sense his fingerprints on this one.
    Interesting. I felt really bad for the very nice Sister missionary who was forced to turn to the picture of Jesus on the wall and bear her testimony immediately after chatting with "Uncle Melvin" (a ghost). It was really awkward. But she had a good attitude about it all.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Richard Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling doesn't see it this way. Also, I'll be honest: based on what the historical record says, I have no patience with efforts to lay blame on Joseph Smith for his own murder -- and that's what it was. I feel the same way about Hahn's Mill and all the other atrocities. A person does not have to accept the LDS truth claims or even feel any affection for the church in order to see who were the perps and who were the victims in the persecutions of early Mormons.

    Utah, at the risk of over-simplifying, if one believes the church is God's church it seems pointless to me to wonder about what would have happened if a particular prophet had lived longer. We can play that game with just about every president of the church.
    Counselor you don't need to feign indignance just for me, although I am touched. I agree with you that Joseph Smith was murdered and that his actions did not earn him his ignoble end. That was not the question at hand.

    The fact remains that he was in jail to face charges for a criminal act, and not for religious persecution, as was later claimed. (Note the destruction of the press WAS technically 'legal' in Nauvoo because the city government had voted themselves power superseding those of the state government; however it was still a violation of the Illinois state constitution. And I misspoke earlier, because First Amendment issues only applied to federal cases prior to the ratification of the 14th, at which time the 1st applied in any state case as well.)

    Bushman is entitled to his opinion. Dallin Oaks also claims the destruction of the press as a 'public nuisance' was legal and proper under Illinois state law at the time because he believes the content of the paper was libelous. But the claims made in the Nauvoo Expositor (namely that Joseph Smith was practicing polygamy and polyandry in secret) are very well documented in multiple sources. Even the RLDS/COC was forced to accept this fact in the late 1800s.

    Now back to my point. Joseph Smith was in jail waiting to answer charges for a crime. In previous instances when he was in jail a judge in Nauvoo would issue a writ of Habeus Corpus to appear in a Nauvoo court, where he would be immediately released and all charges dropped. That did not happen this time.

    Pretend for a moment that the mob never showed up, and Joseph Smith was forced to stand trial. In court his most likely defense would have been that the newspaper was printing libelous statements, and the city government was justified in destroying the press and scattering the type in the dirt. If the claims of the Nauvoo Expositor were explored in court, then the details of polygamy in Nauvoo would have been made public, which would have led to increased persecution from outside, and most likely a significant amount of discord from within the general membership. Remember that at this time, polygamy was very much an 'insider's club' and it is possible that a large percentage of the church members on the 'outside' would have left in greater numbers than after the Kirtland banking scandal 5 years earlier.

    Also remember that a mere few months earlier Joseph Smith answered rumors of his polygamy with his speech in which he stated "Some men accuse me of having many wives, when I can see only one...". Some people would not care about it. But many would be put off by the whole situation. Perhaps a different leader besides Brigham Young would have come to power and taken the church in a different (non-polygamous?), less authoritarian direction dimilar to the way the RLDS church went. Of course the RLDS church did not seperate itself from the rest of society by a thousand miles, and would have trended in less insular and bombastic direction.

    Either way it is a fun thought experiment.

  19. #19
    Regarding Joseph Smith being more liberal, I can agree with that. The Smith family were involved in anti-slavery movements when they lived in Boston (prior to ~1810 - JS Sr was a 5th generation Bostonian). Also Lucy Mack Smith's father was a Unitarian preacher, and Unitarians were at the forefront of the anti-slavery struggles and several Unitarian preachers were murdered for it.

    Apparently a member of the branch presidency of the first branch of the church in Boston was black, and endorsed (directly or indirectly) by Joseph Smith. Elijah Able was at least half black and he not only held the priesthood (and was ordained by Joseph Smith himself) but he was a member of the Third Quorum of Seventy at the time of his death in the early 1910s. Joseph Smith even unofficially adopted a black teenaged girl and wanted to have her sealed to himself and Emma as a daughter (Jane Manning).

    According to the recent church essay on race issues in the church, the racial issues with the Priesthood began with Brigham Young, who even owned slaves and made Utah a slave territory (as a political power play). Had JS lived another few decades perhaps the church history would have taken a more egalitarian angle with respect to race.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I guess. There are about 1000 layers of unknowns in this chaotic system, giving any single "would have happened" scenario a likelihood of near 0 probability.



    Had he been a respected local protestant leader, he could have smashed printing presses all day long without going to Carthage. Smashing printing presses actually sounds like fun, but they are probably tougher than they look.
    Really? Because this country was founded upon freedom speech. A respected local protestant leader who burned down a press would in fact have been prosecuted. I can't believe you are dismissing his act of authorizing the burning down a press and throwing it in the street-simply because JS didn't like what was being printed. This act is absolutely indefensible and I refuse to argue with anyone who thinks otherwise.

    Now, did he deserve to be murdered in jail for what he did? Absolutely not. An outrageous act by a mob.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Do you even watch movies?
    I love movies. Did you know that you can pick them up at your local library for free?!

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Really? Because this country was founded upon freedom speech. A respected local protestant leader who burned down a press would in fact have been prosecuted. I can't believe you are dismissing his act of authorizing the burning down a press and throwing it in the street-simply because JS didn't like what was being printed. This act is absolutely indefensible and I refuse to argue with anyone who thinks otherwise.

    Now, did he deserve to be murdered in jail for what he did? Absolutely not. An outrageous act by a mob.
    Actually, the destruction of printing presses was not an uncommon occurance in that time, not even in Illinois. Witness events in Alton, Ill., in 1837. Elijah P. Lovejoy published an abolitionist newspaper and Thomas Ford, the future governor of Illinois, described the response to the paper: "The people assembled and quietly took the press and type and threw them into the Mississippi. It now became manifest to all rational men that the Alton Observer could no longer be published in Alton as an abolition newspaper. The more reasonable of the abolitionists themselves thought it would be useless to try it again. However, a few of them, who were most violent seemed to think that the salvation of the black race depended upon continuting the publication at Alton."

    A Reverend Beecher, was one of the principal "violent" men who sought to re-establish the Observer. Of him Ford said, "Mr. Beecher was a man of great learning and decided talents, but he belonged to the class of reformers who disregard all considerations of policy and expediency. He believed slavery to be a sin and a great evil, and his indignant and impatient soul could not await God's own good time to overthrow it, by acts of His providence working continual change and revolution in the affairs of men." A new press was bought, and Lovejoy was continued as editor. When the press arrived in Alton, a mob assembled and demanded that it be turned over to them. A fight broke out between the mob and the press's protectors -- whom Ford referred to as demons of obstinacy -- and Lovejoy and a member of the mob was killed while others were wounded. The press was seized and, like the first, was thrown into the Mississippi. No one was ever punished for the destruction of either press.

    Ford, who condoned the actions in Alton, would play an important role in the events of 1844.

    Link:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Moa...server&f=false
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  23. #23
    I've wondered if Mormonism's ability to change with the times has prevented the creation of a "reformed" movement. I sort of think that the limits of change might be tested by the women in priesthood and gay rights issues. Lately I've wondered if the foundation narrative of a resumption of correct practices from a pre-existing correct church paves the way for people to claim that one of the non-Brigham Young groups from the succession crisis was actually correct. Could we see the re-emergence of one of the other groups as a "restoration" of a gospel that eliminates much of the Brigham Young baggage?

    A bigger question is how far back does one have to go to have a recognizable Mormon theology without a lot of the baggage? I think the point where JS prematurely showed the Book of Mormon and lost the authority to translate would be an ideal spot. If the "as far as it was translated correctly" caveat could be applied to the BoM in the same way it is applied to the bible, that would give a "restored" LDS sect a lot of leeway for reinvention.

  24. #24
    Growing up in Sugarhouse, our block had 18 homes. 15 of those homes were LDS, and of those, 12 were practicing members. My parents still live in the same house. Today, it is opposite. Of the 18 homes, 3 are LDS, and 1 is practicing. She's a professor at BYU.

    After 25 years away, we've moved back to SLC in the Millcreek/Holladay area. On our new block, there are 20 homes. 13 of the homes are LDS. And, best as I can tell, 5, possibly 6, are practicing members. Really impressed with our new ward. To carry on the theme, there are 4 female professors, 3 at Utah and 1 at BYU.

    Salt Lake has really evolved, mostly for the better IMO.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  25. #25
    My brother lives in Sugarhouse currently and said they just combined two stakes and most of the wards. He did say there are two other wards in his building, one Spanish and another one with... can't remember which African country, but mostly refugees. Says they are packed and overflowing.

    Interesting to see how populations are shifting. The real sad thing is the best LDS church buildings (not the cookie cutter ones) are all in SLC proper. I hope they get preserved.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    My brother lives in Sugarhouse currently and said they just combined two stakes and most of the wards. He did say there are two other wards in his building, one Spanish and another one with... can't remember which African country, but mostly refugees. Says they are packed and overflowing.

    Interesting to see how populations are shifting. The real sad thing is the best LDS church buildings (not the cookie cutter ones) are all in SLC proper. I hope they get preserved.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Like this beauty I grew up attending? We called it the mausoleum.


  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Like this beauty I grew up attending? We called it the mausoleum.

    I've been in that building and it is like a mausoleum. That is the darkest chapel I've ever sat in. Still a cool building, doesn't it have a fireplace?

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    I've been in that building and it is like a mausoleum. That is the darkest chapel I've ever sat in. Still a cool building, doesn't it have a fireplace?
    Yeah, it does. It's a great building, tons of character. I do love all of those old buildings. Plus, I got severely electrocuted on the roof once, so that was fun.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Yeah, it does. It's a great building, tons of character. I do love all of those old buildings. Plus, I got severely electrocuted on the roof once, so that was fun.
    You'll be glad to know the kids still climb all over that building, as the well as the one on 20th East and Michigan Avenue.and the Garden Park Ward. Some things never change

  30. #30
    Two of the more interesting things to come from the video leak was that internal church data shows 70%+ of youth go inactive by age 20, and that there are 3.8 million active church members in the USA. Demographics seem to bear these out, as can be seen in shrinking wards.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •