I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

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Not Buying It
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I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:06 am

I was reading a post on Reddit about the Whitney letter where Joseph invites his plural wife to visit but only if she can avoid Emma, and in the interests of looking at all sides of the argument looked to see what FAIRMORMON had to say about it. See this link: https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Jose ... ney_letter

Now I've been aware of the letter for ever, but never seen the full text of it, and I have to admit, publishing the entire letter does change the interpretation considerably, particularly when you read that all three Whitneys are invited. Now is the fact that Joseph was sealed to Sarah Ann totally messed up? Yep. Is FARMORMON's ridiculous explanation that it may have been kept from Emma because she hadn't had the sealing ordinance yet stomach turning? You bet, the natural question we should be asking is why it would have to be kept from Emma, why wouldn't she have been sealed to Joseph before all those other women? There's no justifying that. That he would have to keep the sealing to Sarah Ann from Emma is problematic enough.

But I hate to say it, FAIRMORMON has a point - critics of the Church have somewhat misrepresented the letter by leaving key sections of it out. I'm not going back to TBM status over it, but I think it should serve as a warning that we need to be as fair, open, and complete in the information we provide to support our criticisms of the Church and its history as possible. We have all been victimized by the Church hiding things from us - we are no more justified in doing the same than they are.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

jfro18
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by jfro18 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am

I agree 100%

There are SO many areas to go after Joseph Smith over (or the church), so why do we see so many times when things are purposefully taken out of context?

The CES Letter suffers from this in a few areas, and the apologists *immediately* seize on those areas to discredit the entire thing.

It worked on my wife, btw... she saw the few things that are clearly stretches from the CES Letter and declared the entire thing dishonest. Now to be fair I think that's a product of not wanting to believe it in the first place, but that certainly gave her a fair excuse to just say she looked into it and the CES Letter was debunked.

We can (and should) all do better with those kinds of things... and to your point, this letter still shows some serious issues for Joseph, so present it in full context and ask those questions. It's not as if the context makes the whole thing look good - just takes away the argument that Joseph was secretly sending letters to women for booty calls.

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Palerider
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Palerider » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:06 am

I agree there's information in the complete text that is ambiguous.

There may be a religious aspect to the visit but it could also be that the as yet unattained ordinance for the Whitneys could be a dangling carrot used to motivate the presentation of their daughter to Joseph for comfort.

Joseph specifies that the "blessings" are "one" of the reasons for his request of a visit from all three of them. Not the only reason.

It would be logical that he would want to nurture the young relationship with his new bride in whatever way might present itself.

Since the Whitneys are obviously already duped to the max, seeing they have consented to Sarah's wedding Joseph, I see no reason that this being a "religious" meeting would preclude Sarah comforting the prophet in any way possible.

This is actually Joseph's specialty and genius. Mingling religion with his own desires to make them palatable to the gullible.

No reason why this can't be a letter that encompasses both purposes at one time. It doesn't HAVE to be one or the other.

But it does point up the need to be completely honest with the material. The truth is the important thing. Not the agenda.

The agenda should be dictated by the truth.
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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alas
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by alas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:25 am

Palerider wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:06 am
I agree there's information in the complete text that is ambiguous.

There may be a religious aspect to the visit but it could also be that the as yet unattained ordinance for the Whitneys could be a dangling carrot used to motivate the presentation of their daughter to Joseph for comfort.

Joseph specifies that the "blessings" are "one" of the reasons for his request of a visit from all three of them. Not the only reason.

It would be logical that he would want to nurture the young relationship with his new bride in whatever way might present itself.

Since the Whitneys are obviously already duped to the max, seeing they have consented to Sarah's wedding Joseph, I see no reason that this being a "religious" meeting would preclude Sarah comforting the prophet in any way possible.

This is actually Joseph's specialty and genius. Mingling religion with his own desires to make them palatable to the gullible.

No reason why this can't be a letter that encompasses both purposes at one time. It doesn't HAVE to be one or the other.
I read the whole letter the first time I was exposed to it and took it worse than it is usually taken “out of context”. Joseph seemed to like to flaunt his sexual escapades in front of his loyal followers. Like he took joy in doing what was socially unacceptable and having it not phase his devoted fans. Like sleeping with Ben Johnson’s sister with Ben in the next room. And Ben being SO loyal that he doesn’t have a normal reaction of “ewww”. Of course Joseph wanted her parents to come visit, so he could sleep with their daughter with them in the next room and them think it is all hunky dory. Newly wed couples usually go away on a honeymoon to have more privacy, but Joseph seemed to like people knowing sex was happening right under their noses, like being exposed that way was an extra turn on. Then I read in some psychological stuff about guys who the exposure of sex outdoors, or sex where they can be overheard, is a real turn on. It isn’t about the woman so much as it is about those listening or knowing that sex is happening.

Joseph is real creepy.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Palerider » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:58 pm

alas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:25 am


Joseph is real creepy.
Well and the way he puts it reminds me of pop songs from the fifties:

"It's now or never." Elvis

"I'm so lonesome I could (might) die" Hank Williams

And then he turns the screws two or three times stating that "God wills it" and I know that you will do what is asked if you know it's God's will.....and I'm telling you it's God's will!

Richard Bushman states that the Whitney's were sealed three days later. So if giving them the "blessings" of the ordinances was the urgent purpose of the visit that evening (according to fairmormon) and that didn't happen till three days later....well what did happen???

Temple prep class???

"Here Joseph, have a little peach cobbler. It's great comfort food..." :|
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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Not Buying It
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Not Buying It » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:17 pm

alas wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:25 am
Palerider wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:06 am
I agree there's information in the complete text that is ambiguous.

There may be a religious aspect to the visit but it could also be that the as yet unattained ordinance for the Whitneys could be a dangling carrot used to motivate the presentation of their daughter to Joseph for comfort.

Joseph specifies that the "blessings" are "one" of the reasons for his request of a visit from all three of them. Not the only reason.

It would be logical that he would want to nurture the young relationship with his new bride in whatever way might present itself.

Since the Whitneys are obviously already duped to the max, seeing they have consented to Sarah's wedding Joseph, I see no reason that this being a "religious" meeting would preclude Sarah comforting the prophet in any way possible.

This is actually Joseph's specialty and genius. Mingling religion with his own desires to make them palatable to the gullible.

No reason why this can't be a letter that encompasses both purposes at one time. It doesn't HAVE to be one or the other.
I read the whole letter the first time I was exposed to it and took it worse than it is usually taken “out of context”. Joseph seemed to like to flaunt his sexual escapades in front of his loyal followers. Like he took joy in doing what was socially unacceptable and having it not phase his devoted fans. Like sleeping with Ben Johnson’s sister with Ben in the next room. And Ben being SO loyal that he doesn’t have a normal reaction of “ewww”. Of course Joseph wanted her parents to come visit, so he could sleep with their daughter with them in the next room and them think it is all hunky dory. Newly wed couples usually go away on a honeymoon to have more privacy, but Joseph seemed to like people knowing sex was happening right under their noses, like being exposed that way was an extra turn on. Then I read in some psychological stuff about guys who the exposure of sex outdoors, or sex where they can be overheard, is a real turn on. It isn’t about the woman so much as it is about those listening or knowing that sex is happening.

Joseph is real creepy.
I agree Joseph is real creepy, there is plenty enough in the letter to demonstrate that. But I still feel that it has been presented in ways that leave out key passages that allow for reasonable alternate interpretations other than just that he was getting it on with Sarah Ann while her parents patiently waited in the next room. Given other verifiable incidents from Church history, the idea that Joseph got a kick out of sexually manipulating his followers seems a completely reasonable conclusion, but the ambiguity in the letter leaves room for non-sexual motives in this incident as well. We don't necessarily know that any sexual liaisons resulted from the invitation Joseph made in the letter.

We should lay out at the facts and make all the evidence available. Too many critics have used selected passages from this letter to support a narrative that isn't the only possible interpretation. It is entirely possible, but not certain, Joseph slept with Sarah Ann with her parents in the next room - but we can never know for sure, can we? Best to let people review the whole evidence themselves and draw their own conclusions, but too many critics who have written about this letter have provided only those sections that support the narrative they want to promote.

But Joseph is really, really, REALLY creepy - on that point we are in complete agreement.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Red Ryder
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:58 pm

It's incredibly difficult for a Prophet of God to obtain parental consent to marry a 17 year old, let alone consent from the 17 year old herself. Imagine the stress Joseph felt carrying out the "will of the Lord"? He had to convince 3 people as well as hide it from his wife and Sarah's brother too!

Fortunately Joseph Smith received a revelation from God giving him the exact wording to the ceremony to be performed by her own father.
Sarah Ann Whitney’s sealing to Joseph Smith was also singular in that a revelation, dated July 27, 1842, specifically outlined the words Sarah’s father, Bishop Newell K. Whitney, was to use in performing the ceremony:

Verily thus saith the Lord unto my se[r]vant N. K. Whitney the thing that my se[r]vant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your Famely [Family] and which you have agreed upon is right in mine eyes and shall be crowned upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house both old & young because of the lineage of my Preast [Pirest] Hood saith the Lord it shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation By virtue of the Holy promise which I now make unto you saith the Lord.

these are the words which you shall pronounce upon my se[r]vant Joseph [Smith] and your Daughter S. A. [Sarah Ann] Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say:

you both mutu[al]ly agree calling them by name to be each others companion so long as you both shall live presser[v]ing yourselv[es] for each other and from all others and also through [o]ut all eternity reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph [Smith] by revelation and commandment and by legal Authority in times passed [past].

“If you both agree to covenant and do this, then I give you S. A. [Sarah Ann] Whitney my Daughter to Joseph Smith to be his wife to observe all the rights betwe[e]n you both that belong to that condition. I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife your mother and in the name of my Holy Progenitors by the right of birth which is of Priest Hood vested in me by revelation and commandment and promise of the living God obtained by the Holy Melchizedek Gethrow [Jethro] and other of the Holy Fathers commanding in the name of the Lord all those powers to concentrate in you and through to your po[s]terity for ever

all these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that through this order he may be glorified [glorified] and [that] through the power of anointing Davied [David] may reign King over Iseral [Israel] which shall hereafter be revealed let immortality and eternal life henc[e]forth be sealed upon your heads forever and ever.
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moksha
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by moksha » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:01 pm

Not sure why young Sarah Ann Whitney would not be safe from Emma if all Joseph wanted was "comfort" because he was "so lonesome". Surely a wife such as Emma would understand the comfort a nubile 17-year-old could bring to a prophet of God, or at least she would know if she had been more accepting of sharing her husband in accordance with the commandment of the Libido Angel with the drawn sword.
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by crossmyheart » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:19 pm

moksha wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Not sure why young Sarah Ann Whitney would not be safe from Emma if all Joseph wanted was "comfort" because he was "so lonesome". Surely a wife such as Emma would understand the comfort a nubile 17-year-old could bring to a prophet of God, or at least she would know if she had been more accepting of sharing her husband in accordance with the commandment of the Libido Angel with the drawn sword.
To me, the purpose of this letter can be answered by the $64,000 question:

Why was the benevolent and lonely Joseph in danger and in hiding in the first place?

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Red Ryder » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:28 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:19 pm
moksha wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Not sure why young Sarah Ann Whitney would not be safe from Emma if all Joseph wanted was "comfort" because he was "so lonesome". Surely a wife such as Emma would understand the comfort a nubile 17-year-old could bring to a prophet of God, or at least she would know if she had been more accepting of sharing her husband in accordance with the commandment of the Libido Angel with the drawn sword.
To me, the purpose of this letter can be answered by the $64,000 question:

Why was the benevolent and lonely Joseph in danger and in hiding in the first place?
Castration attempts by the mob?
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Palerider » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:46 pm

crossmyheart wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:19 pm
moksha wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Not sure why young Sarah Ann Whitney would not be safe from Emma if all Joseph wanted was "comfort" because he was "so lonesome". Surely a wife such as Emma would understand the comfort a nubile 17-year-old could bring to a prophet of God, or at least she would know if she had been more accepting of sharing her husband in accordance with the commandment of the Libido Angel with the drawn sword.
To me, the purpose of this letter can be answered by the $64,000 question:

Why was the benevolent and lonely Joseph in danger and in hiding in the first place?
He was hiding from the "police".

According to the fairmormon account the gentiles figured (and rightly so) that Joseph had put a hit on Governor Lilburn Boggs by ordering Porter Rockwell to kill him. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Boggs was badly wounded and Porter was caught not far from the scene of the crime and thrown in jail.

Of course Mormon leadership still deny this just as they did Mountain Meadows and every other unholy and impure practice that they have committed.

I guess we're supposed to think that Porter Rockwell meandering that far away from home and just happened to be in the same town as the Governor and was caught running away....was all just coincidental. :roll:
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Culper Jr. » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:38 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:06 am
I think it should serve as a warning that we need to be as fair, open, and complete in the information we provide to support our criticisms of the Church and its history as possible.
Totally agree. There is SOOOO much out there to use to make a critical point about the church. I find evidence like this letter interesting, and I have opinions about its interpretation, but when discussing and making critical points to TBMs I try to limit them to things that can't potentially be misinterpreted. Zina Huntington Jacobs Smith Young is my "go-to" example of how insane polygamy was. It's well documented, and that situation is a complete bag of crazy that takes down the typical apologist's explanations.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Rob4Hope » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:59 am

Though this is a little off topic, it is germane to the intent of this thread.

One of the things that frustrates me is the dramatization of quotes done by NOM PodCasters. For example, I've heard some of the podcasts done by John Larson, Lindsey Hansen Park, Bill Reel, and others to dramatize quotes from LDS authorities. When reading quotes, it is not uncommon for the caster to inflect their voice in dramatic crescendo and decrescendo, providing emphasis and even supercilious components. They make the author of the quote seem stupid and silly.

It feels like a yellow journalistic approach being used to defame and discredit the original author--and its coming from the NOM side of the fence!

Look,...in my mind, the only things that need saying are the facts. They carry the weight needed to discredit where discredit is do.

It only takes one fact for me--the problems with the Book of Mormon. That is all it takes because the "sudden death" teaching of Gordon B. Hinckley, coupled with the massive problems in the BoM, pull the linchpin: the "Keystone of our religion" falls.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by deacon blues » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

I'm glad you brought this up, NBI. When I first began to investigate critical claims of the Church and apologetic responses I notice both sides showed their biases. Both sides, whether or not it was intentional, would use selective quotes and edit them to show their side of the argument. I think the light of investigation has made this practice less common in the recent past- especially since the church essays came out, but it still happens. I see the Joseph Smith letter as ambiguous, it could be argued the the "succor" was either spiritual and/or physical: but Joseph Smith tells the Whitney's "now is the time to afford me succor" not the other way around. ie. "now is the time for me to bless or succor you,"
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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 am

Yes, this letter is misused by critics but I think the real story is even more creepy:

1) the sneaking around behind Emma's back and treating her as the enemy while keeping major secrets from her.

2) this is a classic example of Joseph getting the parents to be complicit of his designed by buying their allegiance with the promise of eternal exaltation for the parents.

3) as with others like Heber Kimball, by giving his daughter to Joseph Newell Whitney bought the privilege of joining Joseph's exclusive club and was allowed to enter into prophet-approved polygamy. He went on to marry 7 additional wives, including a 15-year old girl.

4) secrecy: "burn this letter." Is that the typical requirement for a simple dinner invitation?

I don't care whether or not Joseph and Sarah had a "proper" sealing. It was still illegal, underhanded, and disrespectful to Joseph's legal wife, who the essay tells us he loved dearly. Far from a heart-warming story of brotherly companionship, this letter reveals a level of manipulation that is far more disturbing than a simple secret meeting with a girl who sneaked out of her bedroom window to party with an older guy.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by alas » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:50 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 am
Yes, this letter is misused by critics but I think the real story is even more creepy:

1) the sneaking around behind Emma's back and treating her as the enemy while keeping major secrets from her.

2) this is a classic example of Joseph getting the parents to be complicit of his designed by buying their allegiance with the promise of eternal exaltation for the parents.

3) as with others like Heber Kimball, by giving his daughter to Joseph Newell Whitney bought the privilege of joining Joseph's exclusive club and was allowed to enter into prophet-approved polygamy. He went on to marry 7 additional wives, including a 15-year old girl.

4) secrecy: "burn this letter." Is that the typical requirement for a simple dinner invitation?

I don't care whether or not Joseph and Sarah had a "proper" sealing. It was still illegal, underhanded, and disrespectful to Joseph's legal wife, who the essay tells us he loved dearly. Far from a heart-warming story of brotherly companionship, this letter reveals a level of manipulation that is far more disturbing than a simple secret meeting with a girl who sneaked out of her bedroom window to party with an older guy.
I think you said it better than I did. Yes, critics use this letter and they try to say what the letter implies to those of us in the know, and that comes across as taking it out of context. But when you understand the full context, it is so much worse than even the critics try to claim.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by jfro18 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 am
Yes, this letter is misused by critics but I think the real story is even more creepy:

1) the sneaking around behind Emma's back and treating her as the enemy while keeping major secrets from her.

2) this is a classic example of Joseph getting the parents to be complicit of his designed by buying their allegiance with the promise of eternal exaltation for the parents.

3) as with others like Heber Kimball, by giving his daughter to Joseph Newell Whitney bought the privilege of joining Joseph's exclusive club and was allowed to enter into prophet-approved polygamy. He went on to marry 7 additional wives, including a 15-year old girl.

4) secrecy: "burn this letter." Is that the typical requirement for a simple dinner invitation?
To channel my inner FAIR apologist, I'd guess they'd answer with the following:

1) Joseph wasn't telling them to sneak around Emma, but that if she was there then others might assume Joseph was there and thus it was not safe to have additional people visit.

2) This is typical critical exaggeration, trying to make polygamy a sexual experience when in reality Joseph was simply trying to connect all of the families together, which could only be done with the blessing and acceptance of the parents.

3) Again, the critic here is trying to make this sexual when there is no proof in this letter of that being the case at all.

4) The letter had the location of Joseph and he was running for his life, so he needed the letter burned so the wrong people didn't know where he was

I'm not saying I agree with that (it's quite obvious that I think Joseph was a conman who took advantage of these women and their families in the most disgusting ways), but I guarantee that's the approach they would take. I do believe #1 and #4 would be the ones they'd seize on, and then try'd kind of wiggle around 2/3 because those are much more damning to the overall picture of polygamy and Joseph's character.

It makes me so sad when TBMs read this and think it's OK, when you know if it was anyone but Joseph they'd be ready to throw them to the wolves themselves.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:10 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am

2) This is typical critical exaggeration, trying to make polygamy a sexual experience when in reality Joseph was simply trying to connect all of the families together, which could only be done with the blessing and acceptance of the parents.
Of course, the weakness of this argument is that if it really was just about tying families together, Joseph wouldn't have needed to marry teenage girls, he could simply adopt them as eternal daughters, as he had done with men through the principle of eternal adoption, or posthumously sealed himself to a dead female ancestor of the family. There is no getting around the fact that Joseph Smith was collecting teenage wives for himself, sometimes with the complicity of their parents, and thus taking away their option to find a mate of their own choosing.
jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am
3) Again, the critic here is trying to make this sexual when there is no proof in this letter of that being the case at all.
Whether or not it was sexual, it was still illegal and unnecessarily clandestine for something that they are claiming is "praiseworthy and of good report." Joseph was in hiding for his illegal and immoral actions in the first place. I would like to see what a modern apologist would think of it if he were placed in this position with his own daughter, and being asked to avoid crossing paths with the other man's wife when arranging a meeting.
jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am
4) The letter had the location of Joseph and he was running for his life, so he needed the letter burned so the wrong people didn't know where he was
That's a good point. The apologists, however have a really tough time dancing around the requirement that it was not safe to be there if there was any chance of encountering Emma.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by jfro18 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:43 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:10 pm
jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am
3) Again, the critic here is trying to make this sexual when there is no proof in this letter of that being the case at all.
Whether or not it was sexual, it was still illegal and unnecessarily clandestine for something that they are claiming is "praiseworthy and of good report." Joseph was in hiding for his illegal and immoral actions in the first place. I would like to see what a modern apologist would think of it if he were placed in this position with his own daughter, and being asked to avoid crossing paths with the other man's wife when arranging a meeting.
jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:05 am
4) The letter had the location of Joseph and he was running for his life, so he needed the letter burned so the wrong people didn't know where he was
That's a good point. The apologists, however have a really tough time dancing around the requirement that it was not safe to be there if there was any chance of encountering Emma.
Yeah the divide between "Joseph was just trying to establish dynasties" and the D&C 132 rationale of "raising up seed" is massive. You can't have it both ways, yet just as with tight/loose translations the apologists jump between the two all the time.

The fact is these were sexual and that the wives of Joseph Smith that did go on the record said they lived as his wives. It's really simple no matter how much they want to avoid that.

And FAIR *does* concede that they were trying to avoid Emma because she was opposed to polygamy, but quickly pivot to Joseph telling them to avoid Emma because she might lead his enemies to him. "he wants Emma gone either because she is opposed to plural marriage (the contention that would result from an encounter between Emma and the Whitney's just a few weeks after Joseph's sealing to Sarah Ann would hardly be conducive to having the spirit present in order to "git the fulness of my blessings sealed upon our heads"), or because she may have been followed or spied upon by Joseph's enemies, putting either Joseph or the Whitneys in danger. "

That letter really is damning, which is why I think critics need to stop using it out of context because in context you can not only twist the knife but be crystal clear that you are presenting it in full as you do it.

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Re: I hate to say it, but FAIRMORMON has a point...

Post by Hagoth » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:30 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:43 pm
The fact is these were sexual and that the wives of Joseph Smith that did go on the record said they lived as his wives
For which the apologetic response is that the women were lying under order of Brigham Young to strengthen his argument that his own polygamy was in harmony with Joseph's. It seems only slightly less damning to me to suggest that the second prophet was forcing women to dishonestly insist that they had sex with the first prophet. When they say these things do they even pause to consider how bad such answers really are? I guess it's a matter of defending the Savior (thanks, Elder Cook!) at all costs. The reputation of anyone else is entirely expendable.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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