and Sandra Tanner, a former Mormon couple from the inner circle of Mormonism,
tell us some of the most ugly teachings and events in Mormon history.
Tanners came out of the Mormon Church in the late 1960s, and when they did they
copied many documents from the secret files of Mormonism. Sandra is the
Great great grand daughter of Brigham Young, so they trusted her explicitly. The
book that resulted from the Mormon secret documents is called Shadow or Reality,
and it is the definitive work on the Mormon Church for true Bible believers.
of other ministries to Mormons have tried to discredit the Tanners out of jealously.
This is because the Tanners have done two things:
A. They have raised the level of attack against Mormonism to the highest
levels of research and argument.
B. The Tanners have made the Mormon officials so nervous that they are almost
totally ignoring the Tanners one moment, then attacking them viciously the next.
The Tanners have the Mormon officials searching nervously into their own
The Tanners have offered to hear the Mormon leaders and offer them repentance.
Those Christians who attack the Tanners have a lust to make fools of the
Mormon leaders just for the buzz it gives them. One Ed D______ leads this
attack on the Tanners. He has even claimed that the Tanners are really Mormon
agents. The first article below will show the puerile and mongrel logic
of Ed D______. I have inquired of old time Bible believing missionaries
to Salt Lake, and they have NO word of fault for the Tanners. This struggle
to climb the ladder of fame and squash heads in Christian ministry stinks almost
as much as the Mormon doctrine itself.
We also cannot approve of the two films of Jeremiah Films regarding Mormonism.
They major on the sex life of the late Mormon President, Ezra Benson, and
ungodly queers and pimps are used as witnesses in the films. The sex life
of recent fallen Mormons is as pointless as the sex life of Jimmy Swaggart. This
line of National Enquirer logic is perfectly worthless in the battle for souls
in Salt Lake, especially when it is based upon the integrity of Salt Lake street
walkers. If you get your information from Ed D_______ and Jeremiah Films
you will be first, a dunce, and second, perfectly worthless as a witness to Mormons.
The Tanners have a news journal they send to those interested called the Utah
Lighthouse Ministry. You should be on their mailing list. Their
material and books for sale include many other authors, as well as tracts and
Gospel literature. Send a gift if you ask to receive the newsletter.
Utah Lighthouse Ministry
and Sandra Tanner PO Box 1884 Salt Lake City, UT 84110 Phone
for orders or to get a price list of books for sale: (801) 485-8894 or
taken from The Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue No. 92, April 1997--
Newsletter of the Tanners.
the late 1950's we began publishing materials relating to The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. We were absolutely
astounded at some of the material that came through our own research and the work
of other people. Three and a half decades later new and important information
regarding Mormonism is still coming to light. In fact, it is pouring forth so
rapidly that we are unable to keep up with the flood of material that has become
As each chapter unfolds it becomes more and more evident that Mormonism has changed
a great deal since Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon in 1830. Unfortunately,
the Mormon Church suppresses a great deal of important material that reflects
badly on the church. Much of this material is kept hidden away in the Church Historical
Department and in the First Presidency's vault. This suppressive attitude has
been criticized by many of the church's historians.
D. Michael Quinn, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church in 1993, was at
one time considered to be one of the church's top scholars. He published articles
for the church's official publication, The Ensign and also wrote for Brigham
Young University Studies.
Quinn obtained a Ph.D. in history at Yale University and was formerly professor
of American social history at the church's Brigham Young University. Unfortunately
for Quinn, he dug too deeply into the secret documents in the Church Historical
Department. Quinn was able to see these documents because he had an inside track
at the Historical Department under Dr. Leonard Arrington, who was formerly Church
In a speech Quinn gave in 1981, he noted that he had "spent a decade probing thousands
of manuscript diaries and records of Church history" that he "never dreamed" he
would view. (On Being a Mormon Historian. a lecture given by D. Michael
Quinn, Brigham Young University, Fall 1981)
When Dr. Quinn began publishing some of his more critical research -- especially
that regarding how the church secretly sanctioned the practice of polygamy after
the Manifesto some church leaders were incensed. In the book, Faithful History,
edited by George D. Smith. page 109, Quinn wrote the followIng:
"In June 1986 the staff
of the church historical department announced it was necessary to sign a form
which Elder Packer declared gave the right of pre-publication censorship for any
archival research completed before signing the form. I and several others refused
to sign the form and have not returned to do research at LDS church archives since
In 1994, Quinn published his book, The Mormon Hierarchy:Origins of
Power. This, of course, was very distressing to the leaders of the church
and to many of those associated with Brigham Young University and the Foundation
for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS). Quinn's second volume was published
in 1997. It is entitled. The Mormon Hierarchy, Extensions of Power, Vol.
C. Jessee is a scholar who is well known to students of Mormon history. He is
currently serving as a research historian in the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute
for Church History at Bingham Young University. For many years. however. Jessee
worked at the Church Historical Department and had access to a vast number of
When Michael Quinn's first volume was published, Jessee expressed concern that
Quinn had given too much attention to the "messy" matters researchers encounter
when studying early Mormon History. He also wrote "that the story he tells
is not as free from speculation and faulty interpretation as his bold writing
style and abundant source notes would imply." (Journal of Mormon History,
Fall 1996. pages 164-165)
Nevertheless, Dean Jessee acknowledged that Quinn did, in fact, have access to
important church documents and that he did "painstaking research." Jessee wrote
rile following in his review:
historians have been in a better position to study the Mormon past than D. Michael
Quinn. With degrees in English and history, including a doctorate at Yale. employment
in the LDS Church Historical Department and wide-ranging access to its holdings,
a dozen years of teaching history at BYU, and painstaking research in seventy-five
repositories (he lists them), Quinn has spent a substantial part of his life studying
Mormon history. This book and a second volume to follow are the outgrowth of research
that led to a master's thesis, continued through a doctoral program, and is the
crowning accomplishment of thirty years work...."
The Mormon Hierarchy
is a valuable contribution in terms of identifying sources and understanding
the groundwork of the organizational structure.... While Hierarchy has
laid important groundwork, the definitive study remains to be written." Ibid,
pages 162. 168)
Over the years Dr. Quinn has often found himself faced with serious problems with
church leaders and officials at Brigham Young University. Around the time of his
excommunication he was informed of a threat against his life. While Quinn did
not link this threat with the Mormon Church itself, he believed that the rhetoric
regarding his work had encouraged someone to threaten his life.
QUINN AND CONTROVERSY
as we know, Dr. Quinn had no problems with church officials in his early years
as as historian. Ironically, however, he did find himself in a controversy with
us in 1977, when he became involved in plot to undermine our work. The Church
Historical Department had been receiving many letters and inquiries regarding
the truthfulness of our research, and it had become clear that something had to
be done to refute our credibility -- especially the material found in our hook,
Mormonism Shadow or Reality. It was secretly decided that the Historical
Department would distribute a book attacking our work. Interestingly, D.
Michael Quinn was designated to write the pamphlet. The booklet was published
under the title, Jerald and Sandra Tanner's Distorted View of Mormonism: A
Response to Mormonism -- Shadow or Realty?
The publication of the pamphlet turned out to be a real disaster because those
involved did not dare reveal that the Church Historical Department was responsible
for its publication. Consequently, neither the name of the author nor the publisher
was mentioned anywhere in the book. In addition.the publication was distributed
in a clandestine fashion. Wilfrid Clark, who worked at Zion Bookstore, told us
he received an anonymous letter containing a key to a room at a self-storage company.
He went to that location and picked up bookstore copies of the booklet
Our response to this work appeared in a publication entitled, Answering Dr.
Clandestine: A Response to the Anonymous LDS Historian. In this booklet we
identified Quinn as the author. Even Lawrence Foster [a non Mormon who is very
critical of our work] had to admit that, "The Tanners convincingly link the anonymous
critique to D. Michael Quinn and the LDS Historical Department..." (Dialogue:
A Journal of Mormon Thought. Summer 1984, p. 510)
While a number of Mormon scholars affiliated with Brigham Young University and
FARMS eventually came to detest Michael Quinn's writings, they still continued
to cite Quinn's attack on us in their publications. We feel that they must have
known that Quinn was the author. Interestingly, however, the long-kept silence
regarding this matter was finally broken by Brigham Young University Professor
Louis Midgley. Midgley identified "D. Michael Quinn" as the author in the FARMS
publication. Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7. Issue 1, 1995,
Although we strongly disagreed with many of Quinn's conclusions regarding our
work. in our response we wrote: "We feel that he is probably one of the best historians
in the Mormon Church. His dissertation written for Yale University is a masterpiece"
(see Answering Dr. Clandestine, page 5).
Dr. Quinn is a real enigma to many people. Although he has been excommunicated
from the church, he believes in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's First Vision.
He, in fact, seems to feel that he has a calling to tell the truth about Mormonism
no matter where it leads. In an interview with a newspaper reporter Quinn emphasized
that he is still a believer: "When Michael Quinn was asked about his relationship
to the LDS Church, he still describes himself as a 'true believer."' (The Herald
Journal, February 10, 1997)
A REAL HORNET'S
Quinn stirred up a great deal of animosity when he published an article in Dialogue:
A Journal on Mormon Thought entitled, Male-Male Intimacy among Nineteenth-century
Mormons: A Case Study. The Herald Journal for February 10, 1997. reported:
"Quinn's views drew such fierce criticism in Cache Valley that the former Brigham
Young University historian was uncertain whether his Friday visit would draw a
hostile crowd." Fortunately for Quinn, there were no problems.
Although Dr. Quinn has published a great deal of important information regarding
early Mormonism, we have a real problem with this particular article. Quinn wrote
the following about Joseph Smith:
as taught by their martyred prophet himself, it was acceptable for LDS 'friends
to lie down together. locked in the arms of love to sleep and wake in each other's
embrace.'" (Dialogue. A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1995, page tie)
footnote at the bottom of the same page, Michael Quinn spoke of "the tenderness
involved in same-sex bed mates as advocated by the Mormon prophet"
When we first read these comments we were very surprised. We had never encountered
anything like that before in our research regarding Mormon Church history. We
did notice, however, that Quinn gave a reference to Joseph Smith's History of
the Church. A careful examination of the context revealed that the quote
was not referring to "same-sex bed mates," but instead to death, burial and the
resurrection! It was a speech given by Joseph Smith on April 16, 1843, at the
funeral of Lorenzo D. Barns. We take the following from Joseph Smith's History:
has always been considered a great calamity not to obtain an honorable burial...
If tomorrow I shall be called to lie in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection
let me strike hands with my father, and cry, 'My father.'... When we lie down
we contemplate how we may rise in the morning; and it is pleasing for friends
to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other's
embrace.... when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the
side of my father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father,
my mother, my brother, my sister: and when they are by my side, l embrace them
and they me...." (History of the Church, vol. 5, page 361)
A year after Michael Quinn published his article, George L. Mitten wrote a letter
to the editor of Dialogue. His conclusions regarding Quinn's article were
similar to ours. Mitten, however, went even further:
"The language Quinn cites
is from a funeral sermon on the resurrection, where Joseph advocated that family
and friends should be buried near each other if possible, lying down in nearby
graves, so that they may wake at the resurrection to rejoice together and embrace
in celebration of God's goodness and love. He is referring to family members who
are our dearest friends, and describing a scene of intense family joy. The 'arms
of love' is a scriptural allusion -- the imagery of godly love as the Lord extends
it at the resurrection and otherwise...." Those who wish to know more about this
issue should read George L. Mitten' s letter to the editor in Dialogue: A Journal
of Mormon Thought. Winter 1996, pages v-ix.
Mitten demonstrates that similar terms are found in the Book of Mormon and the
Doctrines and Covenants. For example, in one of Joseph Smith's early revelations
in the Doctrine and Covenants we read that "God" told Oliver Cowdery to
be "diligent in keeping the commandments... and I will encircle thee in the arms
of my love." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 6, verse 20)
In the Book of Mormon we find a similar expression: "Be behold the Lord hath redeemed
my soul... and I am encircled in the arms of his love." (2 Nephi 1 :15) It seems
clear then that the use of the words "in the arms of love" have nothing to do
with "same-sex bed mates." While Quinn made a serious error, we find it hard to
believe that he deliberately set out to deceive. It seems more likely that he
merely misunderstood the context.
Quinn also suggested that Evan Stephens, "director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
at the rum of the twentieth century, provides a case study in the use of social
history sources, as well as being a prime example of the early Mormon celebration
of male-male intimacy." While Quinn implies that Evan Stephens may have been a
homosexual, there is no way to know for certain at this late date. We feel that
it is unwise to speculate about the matter.
MEN TO MEN
most people who are familiar with Mormonism know, dedicated Mormons believe in
sealing women to men and children to their parents for all eternity. Few people,
however, are aware of the fact that the early Mormons sealed living men to other
men in an unusual ceremony known as "the law of adoption." Thus, a man could have
any number of men adopted to himself as his sons for eternity. For example, in
June, 1896, Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of the church, gave a synopsis
of his work in the ministry since 1834. He wrote the following in his journal:
"I officiated in Adopting 96 Men to Men." (Wilford Woodruffs Journal, 1833-1898,
typescript, edited by Scott G. Kenney, 1985, Vol. 9, page 408) In another synopsis
for the years 1834-1885, he revealed: "I had 45 Persons Adopted to me." (Ibid.,
Vol. 8, page 352)
While we cannot agree with Michael Quinn's interpretation of Joseph Smith's speech
given at the funeral of Lorenzo D. Barns, it is interesting to note that even
before the Mormons left Nauvoo to come to Utah, they were sealing men to men.
An article concerning the law of adoption appeared in the Mormon Church's publication
The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, June, 1843, Vol. 4, pages 17-19.
This was a year before Joseph Smith was murdered. Gordon Irving, who worked for
the Historical Department of the church. wrote: "No consensus exists with regard
to the date when the first adoptions were performed... It is certainly possible,
perhaps probable, that Joseph Smith did initiate certain trusted leaders into
the adoptionary orders early as 1842." (Brigham Young University Studies.
Spring 1974, page 295)
Although we have not found any evidence that immoral activities were involved
in the sealing of men to men, the practice certainly could have opened a door
for those predisposed to homosexual temptations. It seems obvious that the men
who were sealed to one another were likely to have closer contact with one another
than those who did not enter into the practice. (We do know that in recent times
some missionaries who were constantly in close contact with their companions yielded
to homosexual activities and were sent home from their missions.) In any case,
the historian Hubert Howe Bancroft gave this information about the law of adoption:
father may be either younger or older than the son, but in any case assumes the
character of guardian, with full control of the labor and estate of the adopted
son. Many young men give themselves over to the leaders as 'eternal sons,' in
the hope of sharing the honor of their adopted parents." (History of Utah. page
Gordon Irving tells of a case where two men could not agree on a sealing ceremony
because they both wanted to be the father: "In his short autobiography, Albert
K. Thurber recalled that in 1850 Benjamin F. Johnson approached him and 'in a
round about way proposed for me to be adopted to him.' Thurber put him off by
telling him,'I thought it would be as well for him to be adopted by me.' " (Brigham
Young University Studies. Spring 1974, page 304)
The noted Mormon historian Juanita Brooks discussed the law of adoption in a book
written in 1962. Mrs. Brooks revealed that when a man was adopted to another
man it was not considered improper for him to take his surname:
"At this time another ceremony
was instituted which... was significant and important while it lasted. This was
the adoption of young men and their wives to one of the leaders. The idea behind
it was that in establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth there should be
also a celestial relationship. If the Prophet Joseph were to become a God over
a minor planet, he must not only have a large posterity but able assistants of
practical skills. Brigham Young had been 'sealed' to Joseph under this law: now
he in turn had some thirty-eight young men sealed to him.
"Of this number, John D.
Lee was second.... All of the men thus joined in the covenant seemed brothers
in one sense, and for some of them Lee developed a genuine affection. Among others,
jealousies grew up as they competed for favor.
the same way, Lee had eighteen or nineteen young men with their wives adopted
to him... He often spoke of them as George Laub Lee, W.R.Owens Lee, Miles Anderson
Lee, James Pace Lee, Alien Weeks Lee, William Swap Lee."(John D. Lee: Pioneer
-Builder -Scapegoat, page 73)
George Laub, who was sealed to John D. Lee, wrote: "... I and my wife Mary Jane
with many others was adopted into John D. Lee's family, this I took upon myself
the name of Lee in this manner, George Laub Lee and my wife' s name Mary Lane
Laub Lee in such a way that it cannot be separated [sic]... by covenanting before
God... this was done in the hous[e] of the Lord across the alter as was prepared
for this Purpose of ordinances." (Ibid.. page 74)
In his new book, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol. 2, page
492. footnote 39, D. Michael Quinn indicated that the idea of a man taking another
man's surname did not last too long: "When he was adopted to Apostle Willard Richards,
Thomas Bullock recorded that he changed his 'name to Thomas Bullock Richards.'...
However, within two years this name-adoption practice ended, and men such as Lee
and Bullock stopped referring to themselves by their adopted surnames."
Early Mormon documents clearly reveal that the law of adoption led to a great
deal of jealousy, and confusion among the men. Gordon Irving acknowledged
that the sealing of men to men led to contention:
began when it became apparent that adoption gave one a special status and that
not all me adopted enjoyed the same status....
as a system of social organization was troubled not only by fathers who demanded
too much of their sons, but also by some of the children who in turn expected
too much from their fathers.... In theory the importance of adoption lay in the
validation of one's sonship in the family of God. But some were more interested
in being fathers and exercising authority over others than they were in being
sons of God. Kingdom-building, or the gathering together of a large number of
people over whom one could rule in eternity, enjoyed a good deal of popularity.
Brigham Young complained: 'were I to say to the elders you now have the liberty
do build up your kingdoms, one half of them would lie, swear, steel and fight
like the devil to get men and women sealed to them. They would even try to pass
right by me and go to Joseph....' "
might have worked among the strong willed men who had joined the Church had they
submitted to the 'quiet spirit of Jesus.' However, the decision of the saints
to assert their 'selfish independence' destroyed any possibility that an
authoritarian, hierarchical system such as adoption could function successfully
among them." (Brigham Young University Studies, spring 1974, pages 299-303)
On April 6, 1862, President Brigham Young claimed that the practice of sealing
men to men was "a great and glorious doctrine." Nevertheless, he acknowledged
that it could be very dangerous and may even send some "to hell":
"By this power men will
he sealed to men back to Adam, completing and making perfect the chain of the
Priesthood from this day to the winding up scene. I have known men that I positively
think would fellowship the Devil, if he would agree to be scaled to them. 'Oh,
be sealed to me, brother. I care not why you do. You may lie and steal, or anything
else, I can put up with all your meanness, if you will only be sealed to me.'
Now this is not so much weakness as it is selfishness. It is a great and glorious
doctrine. But the reason I have not preached it in the midst of this people, is,
I could not do it without turning so many of them to the Devil. Some would go
to hell for the sake of getting the Devil sealed to them." (Journal of Discourses.
Vol. 9, page 269)
Brigham Young's grandson, Kimball Young, had a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago
and served as chairman of the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University.
Dr, Young made some interesting comments regarding the rolls of men and women
in Brigham Young's time: "To understand the role and status and the accompanying
self-images of men and women in polygamy, we must recall that Mormondom was a
male-dominated society. The priesthood -which only men could hold -- was in complete
control and celestial marriage, either monogamous or polygamous, exemplified the
higher status of men. Women were viewed as of lesser worth, to be saved through
men holding the priesthood.
self-image of the woman reflected her inferior status. Alice Johnson Read, after
hearing a sermon by Brigham Young, put the matter in her joumrnal thus: 'The principle
is that a woman, be she ever so smart, cannot know more than her husband if he
magnifies his priesthood... God never in any age of the world endowed woman with
knowledge above the man.' And Daisy Barclay, herself brought up in a plural family,
remarks: 'Polygamy is predicated on the assumption that a man is superior to a
woman... [The] Mormon tradition follows that of the early Hebrews. It teaches
[a] woman to honor and obey her husband and look upon him as her lord and master.'
As a daughter of the second wife of Isaac Lamben once complained, 'Mother figures
you are supposed to spend your life taking care of a man, and he is God.'
Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: I must add a comment here. In
my research of Islam, I found this exact same doctrine. Mohammed, in his
Hadith (sayings), which are considered as important as the Koran by the Mullahs,
said, "A woman's attestation (as a witness) is half that of a man." Mohammed
also told men not to walk between two women so that they would not equal him.
Islam and Mormonism have MUCH in common, including a libido frenzied Paradise.]
'That this masculine principle went deep, and far more fantastically than the
Saints could comprehend, is shown in a sermon by Brigham Young, reported by John
Read. In a letter to one of his wives Read said that Brigham referred to
some future time 'when men would be sealed to men in the priesthood in a more
solemn ordinance than that which women were sealed to men, and in a room over
that which women were sealed to men in the temple of the Lord.'
"Here is evidence of deep,
psychological Bruderschaft. There are obviously latent homosexual features
in this idea and its cultural aspect has many familiar parallels in other religions.
Most Saints, including Brigham Young himself, would have been much shocked by
such an interpretation. Yet the Mormon system, with all is ecclesiastical trappings
and military controls, like other organizations of this sort, had strong homosexual
components. This is true of armies: It is true of priestly orders in all religions;
and certainly in many aspects of the occupational guides of the Middle Ages."
(Isn' t One Wife Enough? The Story of Mormon Polygamy, 1954, pages 278-280)
In a discourse President Brigham Young gave on September 4, 1873, he remarked
that, "we can seal women to men but not men to men, without a Temple." (Journal
of Discourses. Vol. 16, page 186)
As Juanita Brooks noted above, Brigham Young himself was sealed to Joseph Smith
and in turn had some thirty-eight young men sealed to him. While we have no idea
how many men President Young was eventually sealed to, it must have been a significant
Ironically, although Brigham Young, the second president of the Mormon Church,
was married to dozens of wives he made this revealing comment about his relationship
are probably but few men in the world who care about the private society of women
less than we do." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, page 99).
President Young and other early Mormon leaders were convinced that women were
inferior. Consequently, they often had a difficult time getting along with them.
Apostle Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal the following comment made by
man is the head or God of the women, but let him act like a God in virtuous [sic]
principles & God like conversation..." (Wilford Woodruff's Journal. Vol.
3, page 131)
On a number of occasions Brigham Young frankly admitted that he was a dictator.
For example, he once commented: "I sometimes say to my brethren, 'I have been
your dictator for twenty-seven years -- over a quarter of a century I have dictated
this people; that ought to be some evidence that my course is onward and upward."
(Journal of Discourses. Vol. 14, page 205)
On another occasion Young declared: "Now ask our Father in the name of Jesus whether
I am telling you the truth about temporal things or not... the man whom God calls
to dictate affairs in the building of his Zion has the right to dictate about
everything connected with the building up of Zion, yes even to the ribbons the
women wear, and any person who denies it is ignorant." (Journal of Discourses,
Vol. 11, page 298)
At one time relations became so strained in Brigham Young's own family that he
publicly threatened to set all his wives free if they did not submit to his authority:
for my proposition; it is more particularly for my sisters, as it is frequently
happening that women say they are unhappy. Men will say,'My wife, though a most
excellent woman, has not seen a happy day since I look my second wife;' 'No, not
a happy day for a year,' says one; and another has not seen a happy day in five
"I wish my own women to understand that what I am going to say is for them
as well as others... I am going to give you from this time to the 6th day of October
next... then I am going to set every woman at liberty and say to them. Now go
your way, my women with the rest, go your way. And my wives have got to do one
of two things: either round up their shoulders to endure the afflictions of this
world, and live their religion, or they may leave, for I will not have them about
me. I will go into heaven alone, rather than have scratching and fighting around
me. I will set all at liberty.'What, first wife too?' Yes, I will liberate you
all.... I want to go somewhere and do something to get rid of the whiners...
"I wish my
women, and brother Kimball's and brother Grant' a to leave, and every woman in
this Territory, or else say in their hearts that they will embrace the Gospel...
Tell the Gentiles that I will free every woman in this Territory at our next Conference.
'What, the first wife too?' Yes... And then let the father be the head of the
family, the master of his own household... let the wives and the children say
amen to what he says, and be subject to his dictates...
every man... say to your wives... if you stay with me you shall comply with the
law of God, and that too without any murmuring and whining. You must... round
up your shoulders to walk up to the mark without any grunting."
"Now recollect that two
weeks from tomorrow I am going to set you at liberty. But the first wife will
say, 'It is hard, for I have lived with my husband twenty years, or thirty and
have raised a family of children for him, and it is a great trial to me for him
to have more women;' then I say his time you gave him up to other women who will
bear children. If my wife had borne me all the children that she ever would bare,
the celestial law would teach me to take young women that would have children....
Sisters, I am not joking, I do not throw out my proposition to banter your feelings...
But I know that there is no cessation to the everlasting whining of many of the
women in this Territory... if the women will turn from the commandments of God
and continue to despise the order of heaven, I will pray that a curse of the Almighty
may be close to their heels, and that it may be following them all the day long....
yourselves for two weeks from tomorrow; and I will tell you now, that if you will
tarry with your husbands, after I have set you free, you must bow down to it,
and submit yourselves to the celestial law.... remember, that I will not hear
any more of this whining. " (Journal of Discourses. Vol. 4,pages 55-57;
also printed in the church's newspaper Deseret News, Vol. 6, , pages 235-236)
The reader will notice that Brigham Young spoke of the possibility that "brother
Kimball's" wives might leave him. Heber C. Kimball served as first counselor to
President Brigham Young. Interestingly, Stanley B. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball's
great-great-grandson, stated that Heber,"had or was sealed to forty-three wives,"
but he had to admit that "Sixteen wives separated from him during his lifetime
for various reasons..." (Heber C. Kimball- Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer,
This, of course. is a real indictment against Joseph Smith's doctrine regarding
polygamy; a doctrine which was perpetuated by Brigham Young and his successors.
It was secretly practiced until the early part of the twentieth century, which
was many years after the so-called Manifesto.
Brigham Young claimed that after Joseph Smith's death he "went to see Joseph in
a dream." Young said that he spoke with Joseph about the law of adoption. See
"Manuscript History of Brigham Young,"February 23, 1847)
Hosea Stout heard Brigham Young tell of his experience and recorded the following
in his diary:
'I want you all to remember my dream for I [sic] it is a vision of God and was
revealed through the spirit of Joseph.' " (On the Mormon Frontier, The Diary
of Hosea Stout, edited by Juanita Brooks, Vol. L.pages 237-238)
John D. Lee, who was a member of the secret Council of Fifty, noted in his journal
that in a speech Brigham Young made it clear that obedience to the law of adoption
was essential for those who would obtain salvation:
"I have gathered a number
of families around me through the law of adoption and seal of the covenant according
to the order of the priesthood and others have done likewise, it being the means
of salvation to bring us back to God." (Journal of John D. Lee, 1846-47
and 1859, edited by Charles Kelley, pages 80-81.
A very shocking concept which was related to the law of adoption is found in Wilford
Woodruff's journal. Woodruff later became the fourth president of the church.
Woodruff was at a meeting where Brigham Young and Apostle Orson Pratt addressed
the people. Fortunately, he made a report of the proceedings. The following is
recorded in his journal with the original spelling retained:
"Many other interesting
& important items were presented by President Young much to our edification.
Meeting was dismissed & met again at 2 o'clock & was addressed in a vary
edifying manner by O Pratt Br treated upon the same principles spoken off by Br
Young, Among his remarks He said that as all the ordinances of the gospel
administered by the world since the Aposticy of the Church was illegal, in like
manner was the marriage Cerimony illegal and all the world who had been begotten
through the illegal marriage were Bastards not sons & hence they had
to enter into the law of adoption or be adopted into the Priesthood in order to
become sons & Legal heirs of salvation." (Wilford Woodruffs Journal,
Vol. 3, August 15, 1847, page 260)
By teaching that civil marriages were invalid the early Mormon Church leaders
were opening up a door that would entice many of their people into adultery and
polygamy. John D. Lee, who was the second man sealed to Brigham Young, gave more
information on this subject:
the same time the doctrine of 'sealing' for an eternal state was introduced, and
the Saints were given to understand that their marriage relations with each other
were not valid. That those who had solemnized the rites of matrimony had no authority
of God to do so. That the true priesthood was taken from the earth with the death
of the Apostles and inspired men of God. That they were married to each other
only by their own covenants, and that if their marriage relations had not been
productive of blessings and peace, and they felt it oppressive to remain together.
they were at liberty to make their own choice, as much as if they had not been
married. That it was a sin for people to live together, and raise and beget children,
in alienation from each other." (Confessions of John D. Lee, photomechanical
reprint of the original 1877 edition, page 146)
On page 165 of the same book, Lee gave more information regarding this important
the Winter of 1845 meetings were held all over the city of Nauvoo, and the spirit
of Elijah was taught in the different families as a foundation to the order of
celestial marriage, as well as the law of adoption. Many families entered into
covenants with each other-- the man to stand by his wife and the woman to cleave
unto her husband, and the children to be adopted to the parents. I was one of
those who entered into covenants to stand by my family... to cleave to them through
time and eternity. I am proud to say I have kept my obligations sacred and inviolate
to this day. Others refused to enter into these obligations, but agreed to separate
from each other, dividing their substance, and mutually dissolving their former
relations on friendly terms. Some have mutually agreed to exchange wives and have
been sealed to each other as husband and wife by virtue and authority of the holy
priesthood. One of Brigham's brothers, Lorenzo Young, now a bishop, made an exchange
of wives with Mr. Decker... They both seemed happy in the exchange of wives. All
are considered aliens to the commonwealth of Israel until adopted into the kingdom
by baptism... This doctrine extends much further. All persons are required to
be adopted to some of the leading men of the Church."
Although there were undoubtedly many Mormon men who truly felt they were doing
God's world: when they were sealed to one or more of the brethren, the evidence
clearly shows that the law of adoption was a very selfish doctrine. It was used
by many as an opportunity to gain glory and power over others. According to Mormon
doctrine, those who obtained many men would have greater kingdoms in the hereafter.
They would not only have the men they were sealed to for all eternity, but they
would also obtain the women and children of these men to rule over.
The following statements by the Mormon leaders are found in John D. Lee's journal
under the date of February 17, 1847:
Richards (the Historian) addressed the collection. Said.... One item that caught
my attention was this thing of jealousy, fearing that some now is rising or gaining
power and influence faster than what I am. Therefore jealousy will arrise which
causes an envious feelings in our bosom and we imagine that mon is Lexeering [electioneering]
and using unlawful measures to gain an influence.... Elder G. A. Smith said he
and Bro. Amasa Lyman have just returned from a mission... but he durst [not] say
as Bro. Ralt and Woodruff has, that he had not lextioneered, for I have with all
my might... But there is one thing that I don't like to see and that is this thing
called jealousy stirring up family disturbances and broils because we are afraid
that some man is gaining favor and I am not advancing as fast as they are. And
in order to keep back or stop their influence we go to those that have been sealed
and discourage them saying why didn't [you] come with me where none but the respected
are.' Was you not as capable of holding the keys of presidency yourself as Bro.
Lee... suppose I was to jump every man and be sealed to the great God and have
3 only sealed to me. I don't think my kingdom would be very large or my glory
very great.... I could get no more. I should be dependent on the exertion of those
who were sealed to me. But was I sealed to the most obscure individual in this
church and I hod 10s of 1000s sealed to me, would nor my glory he greater than
it would be was I sealed to headquarters with my 3 only? Certainly it would....let
jealousy stop and be united that we may speedily build up the kingdom of God on
the earth, &c." (Journals of John D. Lee, February 17, 1&17, pages
Mormon historian Gordon Irving observed that the sealing of men to men did not
wort out very well:
leaders must have hoped that family Life in adoption would bring their people
together and enhance the Church's efforts to make a new life for the Mormon community
in the West... it could clearly be seen by the spring of 1848 that it had failed
to produce the anticipated benefits.
might be good doctrine, but it had failed to work as a principle of social organization.
With confusion at home and abroad, Church leaders saw fit to discontinue the effort
to make the ties of adoption the basis of organization for the Mormon community....
Once Mormon leaders abandoned adoption as experiment, their publicly expressed
interest both in the doctrine and the practice appears to have fallen off sharply
for some time. Even so there are indications that adoption was not altogether
forgotten by the general membership of the Church. Between 1849 and 1854 the 'waiting
list' of those desiring to join Brigham Young's family increased by 175 names....
time went on, Mormon leaders began again to preach adoption from the pulpit. Adoption
into the family of God that one might be a legal heir to exaltation was still
very much a part of Mormon doctrine. As unpleasant memories of the experiences
of the 1840s faded, Brigham Young and others increasingly stressed the importance
of adoption in Mormon theology." (Brigham Young University Studies, Spring
1974, pages 303305)
DEATH OF THE DOCTRINE
the sealing of men to men who were not of their own lineage seemed to revive for
a season, it eventually suffered a death blow. Charles Kelly, who edited the Journals
of John D. Lee, wrote: "Like many other Mormon doctrines, it was but a passing
fad, and is now ignored and forgotten." (see page 88, nets 87) In 1894, Wilford
Woodruff, the fourth president of the Mormon Church, publicly repudiated the doctrine
of adoption and claimed that a man should be sealed to his own rather. Woodruff
stated that in the past some of his male friends had been sealed to him. He acknowledged,
however, that he felt uneasy about the matter:
have not felt satisfied, neither did President Taylor, neither has any man since
the prophet Joseph who has attended to the ordinance of adoption in the temples
of our God. We have felt that there was more to be revealed... Revelations were
given to us in the St. George Temple, which President Young presented to the Church
of God. Changes were made there, and we still have more changes to make... We
have felt as President Taylor said, that we have got to have more revelation concerning
sealing under the law of adoption. Well, what are these changes? One of them is
the principle of adoption. In the commencement of adopting men and women in the
temple at Nauvoo, a great many persons were adopted to different men who were
not of the lineage of their fathers, and there was a spirit manifested by some
in that work that was not of God. Men would go out and electioneer and labor with
all their power to get men adopted to them.
One instance I will name here: A man went around Nauvoo asking every man he could,
'You come and be adopted to me, and I shall stand at the head of the kingdom,
and you will be there with me.'... Men are in danger sometimes in being adopted
to others, until they know who they are and what they will be.... President Young
was not satisfied in his mind with regard to the extent of this matter; president
Taylor was not when I went before the Lord to know who I should be adopted to...
the Spirit of God said to me, 'have you not a father who beget you?'' Yes.
I have.' 'Then why not honor him?' 'Yes,' says I, 'that is right.' I was adapted
to my father... I want every man who presides over a temple to see performed from
this day henceforth and forever. unless the Lord Almighty commands otherwise,
is, let every man be adopted to his father. When a man receives the endowments,
adopt him to his father; not to Wilford Woodruff, nor to any other man outside
the lineage of his people.... I have had friends adopted to me. We all have, more
or less. But I have had peculiar feelings about it, especially lately.There
are men in this congregation who wish to be adopted to me. I say to them to-day,
if they can hear me. Go and be adopted to your fathers, and save your fathers...
A man may say. 'I am an Apostle... and if I am adopted to my father, will it take
any honor from me?' I would say not... You will lose nothing by honoring your
fathers and redeeming your dead." (Millennial Star, Vol. 56, pages 337-341)
8, 1894, George Q. Cannon. a member of the First Presidency of the Mormon Church,
also repudiated the law of adoption:
the minds of many there has been a feeling of doubt in regard to the principle
of adoption as has been practiced among us.... I well remember... the spirit that
was manifested by many at the dedication of the temple at Nauvoo when the ordinances
were administered there. Some men thought to build up kingdoms to themselves;
they appeared to think that by inducing men and women to be adopted into their
families they were adding to their own glory. From that day until the present,
I have never thought of this subject of adoption without having a certain amount
of fear concerning it.... There is no true principle of the Gospel that will produce
division.... And this revelation that God has given to His servant, the President
of our Church, removes all the danger which seemed to threaten us through an imperfect
understanding of the manner in which the law of adoption should be carried out....
should a man come to one of the Apostles and be sealed to him and then trace his
genealogy through him and his ancestors, and neglect his own?" (Millennial
Star, Vol. 56, pages 354-358)
It is apparent, then, that the law of adoption, which Brigham Young called "a
great and glorious doctrine" and "the means of salvation left to bring us back
to God," was repudiated by later Mormon leaders. As noted above, President Wilford
Woodruff publicly revealed that he had "peculiar feelings about it especially
lately." George Q. Cannon proclaimed he had "a certain amount of fear concerning
it. " He also used the phrases, "endless confusion" and "great confusion" when
speaking of what could happen under this strange doctrine.
A comparison of Brigham Young's teaching with that of Willord Woodruff plainly
shows that the early Mormon leaders were not led by revelation. The Mormon prophet
Brigham Young said:
will answer a question that has been repeatedly asked me... should I have a father
dead that has never heard this gospel, would it be required of me to redeem him
and then have him adopted into some man's family and I be adopted to my father?
(I ans. no. )... Were we to wait to redeem out dead relatives before we could
link the chains of the P.H. [i.e., the priesthood] we would never accomplish it."
(Journals of John D. Lee, page 89)
Wilford Woodruff, the fourth president of the church, contradicted Brigham Young:
every man be adopted to his father. When a man receives the endowments, adopt
him to his father; not to Wilford Woodruff. nor to any other man outside the lineage
of his fathers. That is the will of God to this people.... I say let every
man be adopted to his father..." (Millennial Star. Vol, 56, pages 337-341)
President Bingham Young claimed to have a revelation concerning the doctrine of
sealing men to men. Wilford Woodruff, on the other hand, had a revelation to do
away with the practice. Under the date of April 6, 1894, President Woodruff wrote
that God had given him, "a Revelation which was received by my Councillors..."
(Wilford Woodruffs Journal. Vol. 9, page 296)
The opening of that conference led to the demise of Brigham Young's teachings
concerning the sealing of men to men who were not of the same lineage. D. Michael
Quinn wrote: "...Wilford Woodruff announces revelation which ends the practice
of adopting men to LDS leaders.... His published sermon is only available text
of the revelation." (The Mormon Hierarchy: Extension of Power. Vol. 2,
The reader will remember that John Read wrote an interesting letter regarding
President Brigham Young's vision of some future time "when men would be sealed
to men in the priesthood in a more solemn ordinance than that by which women were
sealed to men, and in a room over that in which women were sealed to man in the
temple of the Lord."
Young's dream for the church was shattered when President Woodruff received his
revelation abolishing the sealing of men to men.
Gordon Irving made this observation regarding the doctrinal change:
"President Woodruff was
declaring publicly that not only should the Saints be sealed to their own parents
but that henceforth they had robe sealed to them if they were robe sealed at all....
immediate response of the general Church membership appears to have been strongly
favorable. The only real problem was what to do about the more than 13,000 souls,
most of them dead, who had already been adopted to persons other than their natural
parents. After some consideration the First Presidency and the Twelve ruled that
these people should be sealed to their own parents but that the old records should
be left standing. Any possible problems would be straitened out in the hereafter."
(Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1974, pages 312-313)
As we will show below, the practice of sealing men to men and of acquiring many
families to rule over is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus. Unfortunately,
the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith taught his people that men could become Gods and
have their own worlds which they would rule over. In the Mormon publication, Times
and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-14, Smith's teachings are set forth:
"First, God himself, who
sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man like unto one of yourselves, that is
the great secret... I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined
that God was God from all eternity.... God himself; the Father of us all dwelt
on earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did... You have got to learn how to
be Gods yourselves... No man can learn you more than what I have told you."
Smith's teachings regarding the plurality of Gods greatly excited many of the
Mormon men. They could picture themselves as Gods having their own world which
they could rule over. Moreover, Smith also declared that faithful Mormons could
have many wives (see the church's Doctrine and Covenant Section 132, verses
1-4, 19-20, 34-35. 37-3 8, 39. 52, 6062). In addition to all this, while the Mormons
were still in Nauvoo, they were informed of the sealing of men to men. It did
not take long for a man to realize that through adoption he could obtain a large
number of men, women and children who would become part of his kingdom and add
to his eternal glory.
The doctrines which we have mentioned above obviously led to selfishness and pride.
They are, in fact, diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Bible. For example.
in Matthew 20:2·1-28 we read:
Jesus called them unto him, and said. Ye know mat the princes of the Gentiles
exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
But it shall not be so among you: Cut whosoever will be great among you, let him
be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to
give his life a ransom for many.
In Matthew 23:10-12 we find this important admonition.
be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest
among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shell exalt himself shall be abased;
and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."
It is clear from the Bible that Jesus taught humility rather than vying to build
a kingdom for oneself. In Matthew 18:3-4 Jesus stated:
I say unto you. Except ye be converted. and become as little children, ye shall
not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself
as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
For more detailed information regarding the sealing of men to men see our books.
Mormonism: Shadow or Reality?, pages 480-483, and The Case Against Mormonism,
Vol. I,pages 1726.
MORMON BLOOD ATONEMENT
Fact or Fantasy?
is a well-known fact that the early Mormons suffered a good deal of persecution
at the hands of the Gentiles--i.e.. non-Mormons. The prophet Joseph Smith and
his brother were murdered by a cowardly mob that took the law into their own hands.
A number of Mormons lost their lives during these early years. Unfortunately,
however, many Mormon historians have overlooked the other side of the story.
During the early years
of Mormonism it was frequently alleged that me leaders of the church sanctioned
the practice of putting both Gentiles and Mormon apostates to death. In 1969-70,
we made a detailed study of the charges and published our conclusions in a book
entitled, The Mormon Kingdom, Vol. 2. The evidence that we marshalled convinced
us that many of the claims were genuine. Since doing this research we found even
more evidence to verify that there was a conspiracy to destroy dissenters and
other people that the Mormon leaders hated.
While many Mormon scholars would like to scoff at those who have seriously studied
this matter, there is incontrovertible proof that Brigham Young, the second prophet
of the Mormon Church, publicly preached a doctrine called "blood atonement." Although
one might think that the name of this doctrine came from the atonement of Jesus
on the cross, the truth of the matter is that it relates to people being put to
death. Brigham Young explained this in a sermon given on September21, 1856:
are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world,
or in that which is to come,and if they had their eyes open to see their true
condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their Blood spill upon the
ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their
sins: and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is
not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.
when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that
you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to serve them, not to destroy them....
further more, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves,
and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their
brethren to shred their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an
offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them,and that the law might
have its course. I will say further, I have had men come to me and offer their
lives to atone for their sins.
is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and
those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit.... There
are sins that can be atoned for by an offering upon an altar, as in ancient days:
and there are sins that the blood of a lamb, or a calf, or of turtle doves, cannot
remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man."(Sermon by Brigham
Young, Journal of Discourses. Vol. 4,pages 53 -54); also published in the
Mormon Church's Deseret News, 1856, page 235)
On another occasion Brigham Young made this chilling statement regarding a person's
obligation to spill the blood of those who committed serious sins:
"Now take a person in this
congregation who has knowledge with regard to being saved... and suppose that
he is overtaken in a gross fault, that he has committed a sin that he knows will
deprive him of that exaltation which he desires, and that he cannot attain to
it without the sledding his blood and also knows that by having his blood shed
he will atone for that sin, and be saved and exalted with the Gods, is there a
man or woman in this house but what would say, 'shed my blood that I may be saved
and exalted with the Gods?'
mankind love themselves, and let these principles be known by an individual, and
he would be glad to have his blood shed. That would be loving themselves, even
unto an eternal exaltation. Will you love your brothers and sisters likewise,
when they have committed a sin that cannot be atoned for without the shedding
of their blood? Will you love that man or woman well enough to shed their blood?
That is what Jesus Christ meant....
could refer you to plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain,
in order to atone for their sins. I have seen scores and hundreds of people for
whom there would have been a chance... if their lives had been taken and their
blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty, but who are
now angels to the Devil... I have known a great many men who have left this Church
for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been
spilled, it would have been better for them....
is loving our neighbor as or ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and i the
wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that
he may be saved.spill it.... if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of
blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood
should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the
way to serve mankind." (Sermon by President Brigham Young.delivered in the Mormon
Tabernacle,February 8. 18~7: printed in the Deseret News, February 18,
1857: also reprinted in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 4, pages 219-220)
These are only two of many "blood atonement" sermons preached by Mormon leaders.
Sandra Tanner, one of the authors of this newsletter, who is also the great-great-granddaughter
of Brigham Young, was greatly shocked when she read Young's sermons. This, in
fact, was an important factor in her decision to leave the Mormon Church.
In 1958, Gustive
O. Larson, Professor of Church History at the church's Brigham Young University,
acknowledged that blood atonement was actually practiced. He related the following:
whatever extent the preaching on blood atonement may have influenced action, it
would have been in relation to Mormon disciplinary action among its own members.
In point would be a verbally reported case of a Mr. Johnson in Cedar City who
was found guilty of adultery with his stepdaughter by a bishop's court and sentenced
to death for atonement of his sin. According to the report of reputable eyewitnesses,
judgment was executed with consent of the offender who went to his unconsecrated
grave in full confidence of salvation through the shedding of his blood. Such
a case, however primitive. is understandable within the meaning of the doctrine
and the emotional extremes of the [Mormon] Reformation." (Utah Historical Quarterly,
January. 1958, page 62, note 39)
This may be the same case spoken of by John D. Lee, who was sealed to Brigham
Young and was a member of Young's secret Council of Fifty:
"The most deadly sin among
the people was adultery, and many men were killed in Utah for the crime.
was a Danish man who came to Utah... He had married a widow lady somewhat older
than himself... At one of the meetings during the reformation Anderson and his
step-daughter confessed that they had committed adultery... they were re-baptised
and received into full membership. They were then placed under covenant that if
they again committed adultery, Anderson should suffer death. Soon after this a
charge was laid against Anderson before the Council, accusing him of adultery
with his step-daughter. This Council was composed of Klingensmith and his two
counselors: it was the Bishop's Council. Without giving Anderson any chance to
defend himself or make a statement, the Council voted that Anderson must die for
violating his covenants. Klingensmith went to Anderson and notified him that the
orders were that he must die by having his throat cut, so that the running of
his blood would atone for his sins. Anderson, being a firm believer in the doctrines
and teachings of the Mormon Church, made no objections... His wife was ordered
to prepare a suit of clean clothing, in which to have her husband buried... she
being directed to tell those who should inquire after her husband that he had
gone to California.
James Harlem, Daniel McFarland and John M. Higbee dug a grave in the field near
Cedar City, and that night, about 12 o'clock, went to Anderson's house and ordered
him to make ready to obey Council. Anderson got up... and without a word of remonstrance
accompanied those that he believed were carrying out the will of the "Almighty
God." They went to the place where the grave was prepared; Anderson knelt upon
the side of the grave and prayed. Klingensmith and his company then cut Anderson
's throat from ear to ear and held him so that his blood ran into the grave.
as he was dead they dressed him in his clean clothes, threw him into the grave
and buried him. They then carried his bloody clothing back to his family.and gave
them to his wife to wash... She obeyed their order.... Anderson was killed just
before the Mountain Meadows massacre. The killing of Anderson was then considered
religious duty and a just act.
It was justified by all the people, for they were bound by the same covenants,
and the least word of objection to thus treating the man who had broken his covenant
would have brought the same fate upon the person who was so foolish as to raise
his voice against any act committed by order of the Church authorities." (Confessions
of John D. Lee, Photo-reprint of 1877 edition, Pages 282-283)
In the same book John D. Lee made this startling statement:
"I knew of many men being
killed in Nauvoo... and I know of many a man who was quietly put out of the way
by the orders of Joseph and his Apostles while the Church was (here." (Ibid..
page 2&1) Lee also revealed another very cruel practice which took place both
in Nauvoo, Illinois, and in early Utah:
CASTRATION IN ZION
"in Utah it has been the
custom with the Priesthood to make eunuches of such men as were obnoxious to the
leaders. This was done for a double purpose: first, it gave a perfect revenge,
and next, it left the poor victim a living example to others of the dangers of
disobeying counsel and not living as ordered by the Priesthood.
"In Nauvoo it was The orders
from Joseph Smith and hIS apostles to beat, wound or castrate all Gentiles that
the police could take in the act of entering or leaving a Mormon household under
circumstances that led to the belief that they had been there for immoral purposes....
In Utah it was the favorite revenge of old, worn-out members of the Priesthood,
who wanted young women sealed to them, and found that the girl preferred some
handsome young man. The old priests generally got the girls, and many a young
man was unsexed for refusing to give up his sweetheart at the request of an old
and failing, but still sensual apostle or member of the priesthood. As an illustration...
Warren Snow was Bishop of the Church at Manti, San Pete County, Utah. He had several
wives, but there was a fair, buxom young woman in the town that Snow wanted for
a wife.... She thanked him for the honor offered, but told him she was then engaged
to a young man, a member of the Church, and consequently could not marry the old
priest.... He told her it was the will of God that she should marry him, and she
must do so; that the young man could be got rid of, sent on a mission or dealt
with in some way... that, in fact, a promise made to the young man was not binding,
when she was informed that it was contrary to the wishes of the authorities.
girl continued obstinate.... the authorities called on the young man and directed
him to give up the young woman. This he steadfastly refused to do.... He remained
true to his intended, and said he would die before he would surrender his intended
wife to the embraces of another.... The young man was ordered to go on a mission
to some distant locality... But the mission was refused...
"It was then determined
that the rebellious young man must be forced by harsh treatment to respect the
advice and orders of the priesthood. His fate was left to Bishop Snow for his
decision. He decided that the young man should be castrated; Snow saying, 'When
that is done, he will not be liable to want the girl badly,and she will listen
to reason when she knows that her lover is no longer a man.
"It was then decided to
call a meeting of the people who lived true to counsel. which was held in the
schoolhouse in Manti... The young man was there, and was again requested, ordered
and threatened, to get him to surrender the young woman to Snow, but true to his
plighted troth, he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then
put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then
tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife, and performed
the operation in a most brutal manner. and then took the portion severed from
his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could be seen
by all who visited the house afterwards.
[Blessed Quietness Journal: I have NO doubt that this
would be done again and again if the Mormon officials could get away with it,
especially on us "Gentiles." I have seen hate beyond belief in the faces
and stories of Mormons. I have heard of the most unreal cruelties done to
Mormons by Mormons in Utah IN RECENT DAYS. I know that in a town near us,
the Mormon church leaders sent two young men to a Baptist church in the town.
Mormons were in high majority in the town, and they hated ANYONE who did not convert
to Mormonism. The two boys walked the aisle, and "got saved." They then
got into the youth group of the Baptist church. Later, one of the
two got friendly with one of the girls of the church, and in the course of time,
he got her pregnant. As soon as the girl's condition was known, the boys
returned to the Mormon church and there was a great celebration.]
doctrine of Mormonism justifies this and exalts it, for the boy had made a wife
and child for his future kingdom in heaven. It was not fornication-- it
was population of Heaven. It was "missions" by use of the groin. Mormons
who will not repent and leave the Mormon pig pen, and be truly born again, must
be held in the utmost suspicion. They are ALL bound to obey the orders of their
high officials, to include murder or any other chaos, and THEY WILL OBEY. The
Mormon church comes as close to any church in the history of fallen Christendom
of having a carbon copy of La Cosa Nostra down at the church house.]
then left the young man weltering in his blood, and in a lifeless condition. During
the night he succeeded in releasing himself from his confinement, and dragged
himself to some haystacks, where he lay until the next day, when he was discovered
by his friends. The young man regained his health, but has been an idiot or quite
lunatic ever since....
this outrage old Bishop Snow took occasion to get up a meeting... When all had
assembled, (he old man talked to the people about their duty to the Church, and
their duty to obey counsel, and the dangers of refusal, and then publicly called
attention to the mangled parts of the young man, that had been severed from his
person, and stated that the deed had been done to teach the people that the counsel
of the Priesthood must be obeyed. To make a long story short, I will say, the
young woman was soon after forced into being sealed to Bishop Snow.
"Brigham Young... did nothing
against Snow. He left him in charge as Bishop at Manti, and ordered the matter
to be hushed up." (Ibid.. pages 284-286)
Mormons today would be appalled if such a dastardly deed was committed and would
demand that the persons responsible be severely punished. Brigham Young, however,
approved of many violent acts perpetrated by those he put in authority. Interestingly,
D. Michael Quinn found documented evidence showing that President Young supported
Bishop Warren S. Snow's cruel mistreatment of the young man:
"in the midsummer of 1857
Brigham Young also expressed approval for an LDS bishop who had castrated a man.
In May 1857 Bishop Warren S. Snow's counselor wrote that twentytwo-year-old Thomas
Lewis 'has now gone crazy' after being castrated by Bishop Snow for an undisclosed
sex crime. When informed of Snow's action, Young said: 'I feel to sustain him...
' In July Brigham Young wrote a reassuring letter to the bishop about this castration:
'Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it,' the LDS president advised,
'and it will soon die away among the people.' "(The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions
of Power, Vol. 2, pages 250-251)
On November 30, 1871. T. B. H. Stenhouse received a letter by an individual who
was present at a meeting in Provo, Utah. The letter indicated that Bishop Blackburn
was also strongly pushing for the emasculation of men who were disobedient to
'Dear Stenhouse: I have read carefully the accompanying statement about the "Reformation."...
If you want to travel wider and show the effect in the country of the inflammatory
speeches delivered in Sail Lake City at that time, you can mention the Potter
and Parrish murders at Springville, the barbarous castration of a young man in
San Pete, and, to cap the climax, the Mountain-Meadows massacre...' Threats of
personal violence or death were common in the settlements against all who dared
to speak against the priesthood, or in any way protest against this "reign of
[Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: And, as
with the Vatican, there is not specific apology. Violent religious men,
and those who follow them in authority, will always cover up the specific acts
'I was at a Sunday meeting in the spring of 1857, in Provo, when the news of the
San Pete castration was referred to by the presiding bishop -- Blackburn. Some
men in Provo had rebelled against authority in some trivial matter, and Blackburn
shouted in his Sunday meeting-- a mixed congregation of all ages and both sexes--
"I want the people of Provo to understand that the boys in Provo can use the knife
as well as the boys in San Pete. Boys, get your knives ready, there is work for
you! We must not be behind San Pete in good works." The result of this was that
two citizens, named Hooper and Beauvere, both having families at Provo, left the
following night... Their only offence was rebellion against the priesthood.
" 'This man,
Blackburn, was continued in office at least a year after this...
" 'The qualifications for
a bishop were a blind submission and obedience to Brigham and the authorities,
and a firm, unrelented government of his subjects." (The Rocky Mountain Saints.
by T. B. L. Stenhouse, 11)73, pages 301-302)
[Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: The Tanners
may not agree with me, but, from my observations in San Bernadino County, CA (ancient
Mormon territory), and lately in Arizona, I am convinced that there are still
Mormon bishops around who would gladly return to castration and blood atonement
if they could. There are Mormon men who would eagerly get out their Bowie
knives and emasculate Mormons and Gentiles who did not submit. Jihad has
been at the heart of Mormonism from its beginnings, and it will NOT go away until
Jesus Christ returns and blasts the tin plated cheap trash pile at Salt Lake off
the map forever. When we return to rule and reign with Christ in the Kingdom,
I hope the Lord will give me the honor of landscaping the old Salt Lake City area.
I will wipe it clean and plant 20,000 acres of tulips on it.
my daily vocation, I have to deal with the ugly side of Mormonism frequently.
I have met only THREE Mormon families which had any appearance of order in their
home, and I have been in many Mormon homes. On a hot day, they are
the last to offer me a cold drink. Giving a visiting friend or worker a
drink is minimum SOP for civilized people in the Arizona desert. The queers
and Freemasons are far more hospitable than Mormons. Unless they are born
again, I keep an eye on Mormons, especially the "dedicated" ones. I had
a Mormon lady (who was pushing her bishop to make him more spiritual) as a customer.
She flattered me and tried to make out we were one in the Lord, also telling
me that I was a very religious person, and she told me she could see a very
beautiful aura around me. I saw none around her, but I never had a time
when I felt more certain I was wrestling with a devil of the most sinister variety,
and I have, by Christ's help, done some snake handling over the years. I
will note that she did a rare thing for a Mormon-- she gave me, a Gentile,
a drink of orange juice. If you want to believe the stories on TV and in
the Reader's Digest about fine upstanding Mormon homes, well, I have this bridge
in Brooklyn that I would like to sell you real cheap.]
This is a very important letter because it throws additional light upon President
Brigham Young's knowledge regarding emasculation in early Utah. According to Wilford
Woodruff's journal, not long after Warren S. Snow's cowardly attack on Thomas
Lewis, President Young discussed the matter of castration being used to save people:
then went into the president's office and spent the evening. Bishop Blackburn
was present. The subject came up of some persons leaving Provo who had apostatized.
Some thought that Bishop Blackburn & President Snow was to blame. Brother
Joseph Young presented the thing to president Young. But When the Circumstances
were told President Brigham Young sustained the Brethren who presided at Provo....
subjects of Eunuches came up... Brigham Said the day would come when thousands
would be made Eunuches in order for them to be saved in the kingdom of God." (Wilford
Woodruff's Diary, June 2, 1857, Vol. 5, pages 54-55)
In 1861, Apostle Orson Hyde met with Wilford Woodruff and indicated that he believed
Warren Snow was guilty of stealing. Wilford Woodruff wrote the following in his
spoke of his mission in San Pete and the unwise Course of Bishop Warren Snow,
& George Pecock his first councillor. They have squandered a large amount
of tithing funds, County taxes &c & Brother Hyde thinks from testimony
guilty of stealing many Cattle." (Ibid.. Vol. 5, gage 554)
It is astounding to think that the prophet of the Mormon Church would allow such
a man as Warren Snow to function as a bishop in the church. Unfortunately, however,
President Young went so far as to give him a special blessing. Willord Woodruff
recorded the following in his journal under the date of April 1, 1861: "Warren
Stone Snow was Blessed By President Young who gave him a very good Blessing."
(Ibid.. page 571) Moreover, in 1867, he was given the opportunity to preach in
the Mormon Tabernacle (see Vol. 6, page 319).
In a public discourse President Young acknowledged that the church had use for
some very mean devils who resided in early Utah:
if the Gentiles wish to see a few tricks, we have 'Mormons' that can perform them.
We have the meanest devils on the earth in our midst, and we intend to keep them,
for we have reason for them; and if the Devil does not look sharp, we will
cheat him out of them at the last, for they will reform and go to heaven with
us." (Journal of Discourses. Vol. 6, page 176)
Porter Rockwell was certainly one of Brigham Young's "meanest devils." Rockwell,
who had served as a bodyguard for Joseph Smith, did not hesitate to shed blood.
The reader will find a photograph of Rockwell on the first page of this newsletter.
Bill Hickman was another ruthless man who killed many people. In his book Brigham's
Destroying Angels, Hickman confessed that he had committed murders for the
In 1858, an extremely grotesque double murder was committed. Henry Jones and his
mother were both put to death. These murders were obviously the direct result
of Brigham Young's doctrine of "blood atonement"
Two months before Henry Jones was actually murdered, he was viciously attacked.
Hosea Stout, a very dedicated Mormon defender, wrote the following regarding the
first attack on Jones:
27 Feb 1858. This evening several persons disguised as indians entered Henry Jones'
house and dragged him out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square &
close amputation." (On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, Vol.
2, page 653)
One would think that this would have ended the vendetta against Jones. Unfortunately,
this was not the case. On April 19, 1859, the newspaper Valley Tan printed
an affidavit by Nathaniel Case which contained a statement implicating a bishop
and other Mormons who lived in Payson:
Case being sworn, says: that he has resided in the Territory of Utah since the
year 1850; lived with Bishop Hancock (Charles Hancock) in the town of Payson,
at the time Henry Jones and his mother were murdered...
night prior to the murder a secret council meeting was held in the upper room
of Bishop Hancock's house: saw Charles Hancock, George W. Hancock, Daniel Rawson,
James BracKen, George Fallen and Price Nelson go into that meeting that night....
About 8 o'clock in the evening of the murder the company gathered at Bishop Hancock's...
They said they were going to guard a corral where Henry Jones was going to come
that night and steal horses; they had guns.
had a good mini rifle and Bishop Hancock wanted to borrow it: I refused to lend
it to him. The above persons all went away together... Next morning I heard
that Henry Jones and his mother had been killed. I went down to the dug-out where
they lived...The old woman was laying on the ground in the dugout on a little
straw, in the clothes in which she was killed. She had a bullet hole through her
head... In about 15 or 20 minutes Henry Jones was brought there and laid by her
side: they then threw some old bed clothes over them and an old featherbed and
then pulled the dug-out down on top of them....
next Sunday after the murder, in a church meeting in Payson, Charles Hancock,
the bishop, said, as to the killing of Jones and his mother, he cared nothing
about it, and it would have been done in daylight if circumstances would have
permitted it. -- This was said from the stand: there were 150 or 200 persons present.
He gave no reason for killing them. And further saith not.
to and signed before me this 9th day of April, 1859.
John Cradlebaugh, Judge 2nd Judicial District."
[Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: And, my
friends, this murderous spirit is still in the hearts of the highest officials
of Mormondom. I ask you to recall the treachery of the Mormon leaders due
to the bilking they took over the White Salamander Letters. There was blood
of atonement flowing , and that was only about 15 years ago.]
Those who murdered Henry Jones and his mother may have remembered President Brigham
Young's sermon which was delivered just two years prior to these murders: "Suppose
you found your brother in bed with your wife, and put a javelin through both of
them, you would be justified, and they would atone for their sins and be received
into the kingdom of God. I would at once do so in such a case; under such circumstances,
I have no wife whom I love so well that I would not put a javelin through her
heart, and I would do it with clean hands." (Journal of Discourses.
Vol. 3, page 247)
[Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: We may rejoice
that Joseph of the Gospel account did not blood atone Mary in the manner of the
sweet hearted scum of Salt Lake. "Scum"-- Ezekiel
24:12 She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out
of her: her scum shall be in the fire.]
In his book, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol. 2. pages
241-261, Dr. Quinn presented compelling evidence showing that "blood atonement"
was endorsed by church leaders and actually practiced by the Mormon people. Quinn
gave the names of a number of violent men who served as "enforcers" for Brigham
Young. In addition Quinn wrote:
this period Brigham Young and other Mormon leaders also repeatedly preached about
specific sins for which it was necessary to shed the blood of men and women. Blood
atonement sins included adultery, apostasy, 'covenant breaking,' counterfeiting.
'many men who left this Church.' murder. not being 'heartily on the Lord's side,'
profaning 'the name of the Lord,' sexual intercourse between a 'white' person
and an African-American. stealing. and telling lies....
LDS historians have claimed that blood-atonement sermons were simply Brigham Young's
use of 'rhetorical devices designed to frighten wayward individuals into conformity
with Latter-day Saint principles' and to bluff anti-Mormons. Writers often describe
these sermons as limited to the religious enthusiasm and frenzy of the Utah Reformation
up to 1857. The first problem with such explanations is that official LDS sources
show that as early as 1843 Joseph Smith and his counselor Sidney Rigdon advocated
decapitation or throat cutting as punishment for various crimes and sins.
a decade before Utah's reformation, Brigham Young's private instructions show
that he fully expected his trusted associates to kill various persons for violating
religious obligations. The LDS church's official history still quotes Young's
words to 'the brethren' in February 1&16: 'I should be perfectly willing to
see thieves have their throats cut.' The following December he instructed bishops,'when
a man is found to be a thief, he will be a thief no longer, cut his throat, &
throw' him in the River,' and Young did not instruct them to ask his permission.
A week later the church president explained to a Winter Quarters meeting that
cutting off the heads or repeated sinners 'is the law of God & it shall be
executed...' A rephrase of Young's words Later appeared in Hosea Stout's reference
to a specific sinner, 'to cut him off --behind the ears-- according to the law
of God in such cases.'...
informed that a black Mormon in Massachusetts had married a white woman, Brigham
Young told the apostles in December 1847 that he would have both of them killed
'if they were far away from the Gentiles.' " (The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions
of Power, Vol. 2, pages 216-247)
While we do not have room for extensively quotations from Quinn's book, the following
are some extracts:
September 1857 Apostle George A. Smith told a Salt Lake City congregation that
Mormons at Parowan in southern Utah 'wish that their enemies might come and give
them a chance to fight and take vengeance for the cruelties that had been inflicted
upon us in the States.' Smith had just returned from southern Utah where he had
encouraged such feelings by preaching fiery sermons about resisting the U.S.army
and taking vengeance on anti-Mormons. Just days before his talk in Salt Lake City,
members of Parowan's Mormon militia participated in killing 120 men, women, and
children in the Mountain Meadows Massacre....
most accounts claimed that the militia killed only the adult males and let their
Indian allies kill the women and children, perpetrator Nephi Johnson later told
an LDS apostle that 'white men did most of the killing.' Perpetrator George W.
Adair also told another apostle that 'John Higbee gave the order to kill the women
and children,' and Adair'saw the women's and children's throats cut.'...
Quietness Journal: Editor: Do you suppose the Mormon Church officials
have apologized for this attack on God's civil authority? Never, and they
would do it again if the circumstances were made possible.]
"As late as 1868 the Deseret
News encouraged rank-and-file Mormons to kill anyone who engaged in sexual
relations outside marriage....
such circumstances the Mormon hierarchy bore full responsibility for the violent
acts of zealous Mormon who accepted their instructions literally and carried out
various forms of blood atonement. 'Obviously there were those who could not easily
make a distinction between rhetoric and reality, a BYU religion professor has
written.... It is unrealistic to assume that faithful Mormons all declined to
act on such repeated instructions in pioneer Utah.... Neither is it reasonable
to assume that the known cases of blood atonement even approximated the total
number that occurred in the first twenty years after Mormon settlement in Utah....
LDS leaders publicly and privately encouraged Mormons to consider it their religious
right to kill antagonistic outsiders, common criminals, LDS apostates, and even
faithful Mormons who committed sins 'worthy of death.' " (The Mormon Hierarchy:
Extensions of Power, Vol. 2, pages 25L-53, 56-57, 60)
On pages 804-805, of the same book, Quinn reported concerning a murder committed
Apr., 'Clyde Felt has confessed to cutting the throat of old man Collins, at his
request. The old man was a moral degenerate. The boy is a son of David P. Felt'
Grandson of former general authority, Clyde Felt is fourteen. Despite this blood
atonement murder, LDS leaders allow [the] young man to be endowed and married
in temple eight years later."
Although we cannot be certain, this may be the last known case of "blood atonement"
committed by Mormons. It should be noted, however, that at least two groups (the
Lebarons and the Laffertys) broke off from the Mormon Church and still hold to
Brigham Young's teaching of "blood atonement." Consequently, they committed a
significant number of "blood atonement" murders between 1972 and 1988.
[Blessed Quietness Journal: Editor: Also, Granny
Greer, who wrote, Mamma, Mormonism, and Me, reported of several blood atonements
in Safford, Arizona in her day, and the log used for the ceremonies stayed in
the church courtyard until recent days.]
While Dr. Quinn's book, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol.
2, presents plenty of evidence to establish the fact that "blood atonement" murders
were committed by the early Mormons, Quinn did not have the space to deal at great
length with this important issue. To compliment Quinn's excellent work we highly
recommend our book, The Mormon Kingdom, Vol. 2. In this book we have
actual photographs from the church's Deseret News confirming that church
leaders strongly supported the doctrine of "blood atonement." While the regular
price for this book is $4.95, a free copy will be sent with every order of $25
or more (see first page of this newsletter).
THOSE BIBLE BELIEVERS CONTEMPLATING MOVING TO A MORMON COMMUNITY Blessed
Quietness Journal: Editor:
you are thinking of moving into a Mormon community, note the following:
you are going as a missionary to Mormons, and if you have no kids, you are in
a fairly reasonable situation for survival.
2. If you are going to a Mormon community to work and live, you will have
few if any friends, your boys will be targeted for sodomy abuse, and your girls
will be evangelized by the libidos of Mormon boys. I am assuming you are
a born again Christian and will be witnessing to the Mormons in the community.
you open a store in a Mormon community but do not join their church, you will
4. Get a minimum 45 calibre revolver and learn to use it. Your problem
will not be the "evangelists." It will be the mindless retards who are the
result of four generations of incest. Quite literally, Mormon communities
all have a number of raving maniacs running loose. They are let to run loose
because they are all members of the local Mormon Church, and they are gods in
the making. Mormons don't touch their own, especially when the victims of
these lunatics are Gentiles.
you can't deal with this, don't move there. Move to Mecca, Vladavostoc, or
Mormons be born again? Answer: Of course, and Jesus died for every
one of them. However; when dealing with Mormons, lay hands suddenly on now
man. When they want to be saved, lead them to the Lord. But, don't
be in any hurry to throw them up in front of the saints. Teach them carefully
for about two years before you let them into ANY ministry in the local church.
Most of the Mormons who have gotten saved over the past 20 years have NOT
come into the local church. They decide to start a "ministry to Mormons."
This is why we have 250 plus one family missions to Mormons. I
know this is a fact. Pastors should NEVER support a missionary to Mormons
who is a former Mormon and has not spent time in Bible training and local church
service OUTSIDE of Mormon lands.
Former Mormons frequently DO NOT get rid of the arrogant notions that they have
to build a kingdom, and they cannot stand each other in Christian ministries.
Witness the attack of Ed D______ on the Tanners. The man had no shame
as he raved and made false accusations against them. Ironically, Ed was
scouring the red light district of Salt Lake City for Jeremiah Films, looking
for pimps and whores who had the goods on Ezra Benson, while the Tanners were
scouring the archives of Mormonism for historic evidence which has rocked Mormonism
to its foundations. Some of these ex-Mormons need to go to the backside
of the desert for two years like the Apostle Paul.
Any mail sent to schmooze me over this admonition will be deleted and unread.
I too have done my research, and not with pimps and whores.