Anti-Mormon, a term that upsets Mormons as much as the term “Apostate.” Of course, we all know that the latter leads to the former. I mean, that is how it came about in the first place right? People left the church and couldn’t leave it alone right? Of course! And all because they wanted to sin, not home teach, not pay tithing and all of that. So what did they do? They started to produce “Anti-Mormon” literature. And to keep you safe and clean you must stay away!
And what happens if you don’t? Well simple, then you fall away from the church. Look at what happened to me. I was told that all the stuff I read was just “anti-Mormon” lit. Don’t mind the fact that I read it on lds.org and familysearch.org. Both of them church owned sites.
I wanted to look at the term Anti-Mormon a little more closely. I googled and got Anti-Mormonism Wiki. In there is says:
The term is often used to describe persons or literature that are critical of their adherents, institutions, or beliefs, or physical attacks against specific Mormons or the LDS Church as a whole.
So this says that it often describes something that is critical of the LDS Church as a whole. The things I read, were not. It was a history of how things happened. It was by its own people. For me, it was things that I had never been taught. But when I shared the items about polygamy with my wife, she said it was just anti-mormon literature that I had been reading. And if I had been reading my scriptures every day like I was suppose too, then I wouldn’t have lost my testimony.
Modern-day opposition generally takes the form of websites offering alternative views about Mormonism or non-violent protest at large Latter-day Saint gatherings such as the church’s biannual General Conference, outside of Latter-day Saint pageants, or at events surrounding the construction of new LDS temples. Opponents generally allege that the church’s claims to divine origin are false, that it is non-Christian, or that it is a religion based on fraud or deceit on the part of its past and present leaders.
Websites that offer alternative views. So what do you call it when the alternative view you read was on the churches own website? I was told it was anti, but how can that be? Can the church really put out it’s own anti-lit?
I went to lds.org for a reason. I wanted to find out the truth from the horses own mouth. I didn’t want to go to one of those “bad” sites. There was no way I was going to be fooled by the devil! But to my shock and dismay I was told that what I found was indeed, anti-lit. I just shook my head. “How can this be? It’s from the church’s own mouth!”
Then I realized that the real fact of the matter is, anything that doesn’t align with the church’s teachings at this moment are deemed “Anti!” Which really opens up a lot of stuff for this. Pretty much all of Brigham Young’s teachings. Have you looked at the Journal of Discourses? If you have 3 days to kill, give this a glance. There are some good things in there.
Like in The Gospel Incorporates All Truth pg 160-171 of the 16th volume. Here are some good parts of this one.
Now, where a man in this Church says, “I don’t want but one wife, I will live my religion with one,” he will perhaps be saved in the celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, “Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,” and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain single forever and ever.
I recollect a sister conversing with Joseph Smith on this subject. She told him: “Now, don’t talk to me; when I get into the celestial kingdom, if I ever do get there, I shall request the privilege of being a ministering angel; that is the labor that I wish to perform. I don’t want any companion in that world; and if the Lord will make me a ministering angel, it is all I want.” Joseph said, “Sister, you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want.” He then said to me: “Here, brother Brigham, you seal this lady to me.” I sealed her to him. This was my own sister according to the flesh.
Now, sisters, do not say, “I do not want a husband when I get up in the resurrection.” You do not know what you will want. I tell this so that you can get the idea. If in the resurrection you really want to be single and alone, and live so forever and ever, and be made servants, while others receive the highest order of intelligence and are bringing worlds into existence, you can have the privilege. They who will be exalted cannot perform all the labor, they must have servants and you can be servants to them.
Great stuff eh? But if I showed this to a TBM, I am sure I would be told that it’s either “Anti” or that it’s just not Gospel, Brigham was speaking as a man, not a prophet. So when President Hinckley said:
We—the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve—have taken the position, and I quote, that “the Church discourages tattoos. It also discourages the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes, although it takes no position on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings.”
Is this going to be changed from the word of a prophet to just the ramblings of a prophet who was speaking as a man? As a Prophet you have to wonder if one day your great sayings are going to be changed into babble.
So back to these sites. These evil apostate anti-mormon hate filled sites. Have you checked them out? Have you seen just how un-hatefilled some of them are? How they are just about getting out information. Even if it isn’t “helpful”, but if its true.
One such site is MormonThink.com
Does this site talk about the evil’s of Mormomism? Is it trying to overthrow and destroy the church? This is what it says on it’s site:
MormonThink is concerned with truth. As such, we attempt to correct misinformation about the LDS Church made by critics and defenders of the faith (including the Church itself). We present a range of perspectives and viewpoints, privileging those we believe are the most accurate, consistent and empirically valid.
Mormonthink has both active, questioning and ex-mormons writing for it. So while some TBM’s will say it’s an “anti” site. It’s not, its normal people who are concerned with truth. And the finding of it. And you can follow them on twitter @mormonthink
Another great site that I wish I had found when I was researching is CESLetter.com
Jeremy Runnells did an amazing job gathering all the issues and putting them in one easy place. He has the issues and why they are issues.
“In February 2012, Jeremy experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a CES Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church’s origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director.”
It’s pretty hard to argue with this, even though FairMormon tried. You can see all of that on his site as well.
You can also watch as Jeremy talks to John Dehlin about his journey.
The church wrote essays you say?
Now after all of these things that these sites have are called “anti” Mormon literature. And all the TBM’s have stuck up their nose about them. Then the church does something, something that some TBM’s weren’t counting on I’m sure. The church came out and admitted some of the things that these “anti” sites have been saying are in fact true.
And now the church is coming out with essays. On issues like Race and the Priesthood, Book of Mormon translation, First Vision Accounts, Book of Abraham, and Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo. These things are full of some nuggets of information.
Let’s take the last one I said, Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo. Some of the great insights into this are:
Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday.
WAIT WAIT WAIT! Stop the press! They are saying Joseph married a teenager? But this is just Anti-Mormon Lies! When I found this same thing on familysearch.org. I was told that I was just looking at Anti-Mormon stuff. But there it is, they say that she was several months before her 15th birthday. Which if I carry the 1, and divide by 7. Well, looks like she was 14. Why didn’t they just say she was 14?
Here is my issue with these “essays.” They aren’t full of truth. Look at what is said next about Helen.
Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens. Helen Mar Kimball spoke of her sealing to Joseph as being “for eternity alone,” suggesting that the relationship did not involve sexual relations.
So they say it wasn’t inappropriate at that time. So some married in their mid-teens. But did they marry men who were 37 years old? And the reference they give for 14 being an “appropriate age” were all books written about Joseph Smith.
(J. Spencer Fluhman, “A Subject that Can Bear Investigation’: Anguish, Faith, and Joseph Smith’s Youngest Plural Wife,” in Robert L. Millet, ed., No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues (Provo and Salt Lake City: Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2011), 104–19; Craig L. Foster, David Keller, and Gregory L. Smith, “The Age of Joseph Smith’s Plural Wives in Social and Demographic Context,” in Bringhurst and Foster, eds., The Persistence of Polygamy, 152–83.)
My next issue with this statement is about Helen speaking of her sealing. I remember when I heard about anti-Mormon lit, that they used ways to make things not sound correct. Like only quoting part of something, to make it sound as if the person was saying something else. This is exactly what the church did here. When Helen said “for eternity alone,” it was in a poem she wrote. Here is the full poem she penned in 1881.
I thought through this life my time will be my own
The step I now am taking’s for eternity alone,
No one need be the wiser, through time I shall be free,
And as the past hath been the future still will be.
To my guileless heart all free from worldly care
And full of blissful hopes and youthful visions rare
The world seamed bright the thret’ning clouds were kept
From sight and all looked fair but pitying angels wept.
They saw my youthful friends grow shy and cold.
And poisonous darts from sland’rous tongues were hurled,
Untutor’d heart in thy gen’rous sacrafise,
Thou dids’t not weigh the cost nor know the bitter price;
Thy happy dreams all o’er thou’st doom’d also to be
Bar’d out from social scenes by this thy destiny,
And o’er thy sad’nd mem’ries of sweet departed joys
Thy sicken’d heart will brood and imagine future woes,
And like a fetter’d bird with wild and longing heart,
Thou’lt dayly pine for freedom and murmor at thy lot;
But could’st thou see the future & view that glorious crown,
Awaiting you in Heaven you would not weep nor mourn.
Pure and exalted was thy father’s aim, he saw
A glory in obeying this high celestial law,
For to thousands who’ve died without the light
I will bring eternal joy & make thy crown more bright.
I’d been taught to reveire the Prophet of God
And receive every word as the word of the Lord,
But had this not come through my dear father’s mouth,
I should ne’r have received it as God’s sacred truth.
Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, “Autobiography, 30 March, 1881,” CHL. Typescript and copy of holograph reproduced in Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, eds., A Woman’s View: Helen Mar Whitney’s Reminiscences of Early Church History (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 482–87.
And why did Helen do this? One because her father was trying to arrange it, so to be closer to the Prophet. And she also said:
I heard him [Joseph Smith] teach and explain the principle of celestial marriage. After which he said to me, “If you will take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father’s household and all of your kindred.” This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward.
Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, “Autobiography, 30 March 1881,” MS 744, CHL. Typescript and copy of holograph reproduced in Jeni Broberg Holzapfel and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, eds., A Woman’s View: Helen Mar Whitney’s Reminiscences of Early Church History (Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997), 482–87.
Since when has this ever been something you can do? When has anyone ever been able to “save” someone else by marrying someone?
But that’s not all, the church also admitted something else in this essay. Something I hadn’t heard while a believer.
Following his marriage to Louisa Beaman and before he married other single women, Joseph Smith was sealed to a number of women who were already married.
So he married kids and already married women??? And people wonder why I have issues with this. You know, its the churches own stuff that pulled me out of it. It wasn’t some evil site with desires to over throw the church.
Something else that I thought was interesting that the church put in the essay was this:
Joseph told associates that an angel appeared to him three times between 1834 and 1842 and commanded him to proceed with plural marriage when he hesitated to move forward. During the third and final appearance, the angel came with a drawn sword, threatening Joseph with destruction unless he went forward and obeyed the commandment fully.
God sent an angel with a sword and threatened to kill him. He used this line on women to get them to marry him. But here is a question I have, where is Joseph’s free agency? God says to do this, or you will be destroyed. Not really much of a choice there. Yet that seems to get over looked by the church.
Now some will say “see, the church has put these essay’s out! They are being fully honest.” Except that it’s very hard to find these. And most members probably don’t even know they exist. But for a great site that has them all linked, go to MormonEssays
Now if I showed these things to a TBM, I bet I would get told they were “anti.” There are many people who have said these things and been labeled as such. But do you think the church will say they are sorry? That for all those who they said were in the wrong, that they weren’t. That they in fact had the correct information all along? HA! yeah right.
There are so many great resources out there. It’s not scary, or evil. Those of you who are searching for truth, you aren’t doing something wrong. The church wants to keep people from looking, why? Are the skeletons in their closet that bad? Just Google Book of Abraham and find out for yourself. It’s only one click away.