Many people believe the LDS church is in apostasy. They are correct. However, the majority of the disaffected usually think that the apostasy began in 1890 when Wilford Woodruff put an end to polygamy.
This is certainly a very peculiar event in LDS history. For nearly forty years, the Saints had been taught that polygamy was ESSENTIAL to receive “exaltation.” They believed that polygamy was the fulness of the gospel. Then, suddenly, polygamy was discontinued. Eventually the church would begin to excommunicate any individual that engaged in it.
Polygamy went from being the most important commandment to ever be restored, to something that would result in excommunication.
Brigham Young and John Taylor said that the Saints would NEVER stop practicing polygamy. Apparently even Wilford Woodruff said something to a similar effect. When I am able to get access to internet, I’ll find these quotes and place them at the bottom of this post.
[I am an LDS missionary, writing this during personal study time on my missionary-approved iPad.]
This flip-flop business that occurred after 1890 makes no sense. For people that rightly believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, the next logical step is to say that Wilford Woodruff threw the church into a state of darkness and obscurity, because it was he who went against what Joseph had triumphantly established.
People who are a little more ahead in the game will place the apostasy at Brigham Young. After Brigham Young took over, he started teaching ridiculous crap like the Adam-God doctrine and a million other things. The apostasy began there! Brigham Young was going against what Joseph Smith had taught. Simple enough, right?
But it’s never simple. Not when dealing with the mysteries of God.
What if the apostasy began with Joseph Smith?
I’m going to make the case that it did. But unlike the other whistle-blowers, I’m not going to put the blame on him. It couldn’t be the single actions of one person– whether Wilford, Brigham, or Joseph– to drive Christ’s church back into the wilderness.
The apostasy of the one, true, church was the collective result of everyone that claims to follow God.
By the time that the church was rejected– by 1842, I postulate, due to the Saints disobedience and failure to build the Nauvoo House and Temple– God had withdrawn his spirit from the Latter-Day Saints.
Without God’s spirit illuminating the LDS leadership, Joseph and others lost all their revelatory and spiritual gifts, and became as other men.
Joseph Smith is now known as a sexual predator who created a sex cult.
Clarification: JS is not a predator of any kind, but the LDS church sadly is the relic of a sex cult. Yet Joseph Smith cannot be blamed for what took place in Nauvoo. It wasn’t his fault that he no longer operated under the influence of the Holy Ghost.
The apostasy began with Joseph Smith, but he was not the reason it occurred. Polygamy, the false endowment, the bad doctrines– all of it sprouted its head up AFTER the church was rejected.
But even that is over-simplifying it. So let’s start from the beginning.
Section 43 is a revelation and prophecy that talks about how to determine who is the rightful leader of the LDS church. No one in the entire LDS church knows about this section, because it’s proof that Brigham Young was not the rightful successor.
I still laugh when I hear and read the claim that it’s the Twelve Apostles’ duty to reorganize the First Presidency when a president of the church dies– SUUUUUUUUURE.
But what did God say?
If you don’t know what Section 43 says about the succession of who should be president, you are literally the reason why the church has fallen into apostasy.
I don’t mean to beat anyone up. Amazingly, the sins of the Gentile church (1830-1835), and the sins of the Nauvoo Saints, STILL reflect the sins of our current day. This goes to show that we’re each a small participant in why the church is in apostasy. Whether we’ve inherited the false traditions of our fathers or not, we are all in need of serious repentance and redemption.
Section 43 gives this amazing warning and prophecy:
3 And this ye shall know assuredly–that there is none other [than Joseph Smith] appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
4 But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
These verses provide a very rigid dichotomy from what the LDS church teaches. If the prophet can “never lead us astray”, why does this verse warn that there is a possibility for Joseph to not abide in the Lord?
God also gives us the amazing promise that if this does happen, Joseph will appoint another in his stead!
Combine this with Section 28:7 which declares unabashedly that the revelations appointed to Joseph Smith will be revealed to another in his stead.
But Section 43 says the ONLY REASON for anyone to be appointed in place of Joseph Smith is FOR JOSEPH SMITH TO STOP ABIDING IN THE LORD.
The revelations of Jesus Christ declare that Joseph Smith would fall from his calling. A quick question: If Joseph Smith was a fraud, why would his revelations prophesy of this? If he really wanted all the glory and fame, why would countless passages coming through him reveal that he would ultimately stop abiding in the Lord, and that due to this, someone would need to be placed in his stead?
Was Brigham Young placed in Joseph Smith’s stead? Nope. Brigham Young never claimed to be a prophet until the Saints decided to sustain him as one.
This was his reaction after being sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator: “Those words in that connection always made me feel as though I am called more than I am deserving of. I am Brigham Young, an Apostle of Joseph Smith, and also of Jesus Christ. If I have been profitable to this people, I am glad of it. The brethren call me so; and if it be so, I am glad.” (JOD 5:296)
The Saints should have realized that the church had clearly been rejected by the time Brigham took charge. Brigham had no clue what he was doing. No one knew who was supposed to take over after the death of Joseph Smith.
If our God is a God of order, why would it have been so confusing after Joseph Smith died? BECAUSE GOD REJECTED THE CHURCH AND LET THEM CHOOSE WHOEVER THEY WANTED TO LEAD THEM.
6 And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me.
God gave the Saints everything they needed to avoid deception, but they took lightly the revelations of Jesus Christ.
They did not fear God.
Section 124 said if they did not build the Nauvoo House or the Temple before the appointed time God gave them, the church would be rejected.
They built the Kirtland temple in three years, with half the membership they had in Nauvoo.
After being in Nauvoo for SIX years, they STILL hadn’t finished building the Nauvoo Temple.
On February 8th, 1846, Brigham Young offered a prayer which no doubt offended God. In his own words:
“I met with the Council of the Twelve in the southeast corner room of the attic of the Temple. We knelt around the altar, and dedicated the building to the Most High. We asked his blessing upon our intended move to the west; also asking him to enable us some day to finish the Temple, and dedicate it to him, and we would leave it in his hands to do as he pleased; and to preserve the building as a monument to Joseph Smith. We asked the Lord to accept the labors of his servants in this land. We then left the Temple.”
By BY’s own admission, the temple was never completed. And he wanted the building to be a monument to Joseph Smith? Clearly, Brigham Young was in a world of his own. He did not take the words of God seriously. He worshiped a god in his own image.
Let’s find out what the true and living God thought of Brigham’s pathetic prayer. The historical record reports that the very next day, February 9th 1846, one of the stovepipe’s in the temple overheated and lit some hanging clothing on fire.
The temple went up in flames!
Things like that are no coincidence. The truth is in broad daylight. For those willing to accept it.
Section 43 provided the true law of succession. The prophet may fall from his calling, but God has promised that there is a clear and distinct protocol to make sure another is properly in place to take over– that the fallen prophet will have no power EXCEPT to appoint another in his stead.
Did this happen?
In Section 124 the true successor to Joseph Smith was revealed.
Until then, throughout the entire D&C it was only Joseph that had ever been referred to as a prophet, seer, and revelator.
In Section 124, for the whole world to see, Hyrum Smith was called of God as a prophet, seer, and revelator, “that he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph.” (D&C 124:94-95)
From that point on, if Joseph Smith fell from his calling, there was now someone to replace him. Verse 15 in Section 124 describes Hyrum: “I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me.”
I bear to the world that I believe that declaration to be true. Hyrum Smith was a true prophet of God.
Section 124 was revealed in January of 1841. Just a few months later– April, the records read– Joseph began to take multiple wives. Anyone with half a brain who had actually read Section 43 would have realized that the protocol of succession had taken place. Joseph had appointed someone in his stead to then fall from his calling.
After Section 124 was revealed and he had begun taking on multiple wives, Joseph would never again receive another revelation.
The moment Joseph secretly married Lousia Beaman in April 1841 and spent the night with her, he was no longer a true prophet of God.
Joseph Bates Noble was intimately involved with the secret wedding ceremony; after which he offered Joseph and Lousia to spend their wedding night together at his house. In his own words, he told them to, “Blow out the lights and get into bed, and you will be safer there.”
After Joseph’s and Lousia’s honeymoon, Hyrum Smith automatically became the prophet of the church. Sadly, no one regarded him as such. The Saints worshipped Joseph instead of God.
The Saints would not turn to Hyrum for revelation or guidance. They followed Joseph Smith straight to hell.
Hyrum would never have fallen for polygamy in 1841, even 1842. But after the church had been rejected long enough for the spirit of God to have been completely drained from him, he too would fall from his prophetic calling.
As prophesied by Isaiah, the eyes of the seers had been covered. Due to the iniquities of the people, Hyrum was also infected with the sins of latter-day Israel.
Yet even Hyrum would only take two plural wives. Even without the spirit of God, he still had the integrity spoken of in Section 124. The light of Christ still shined in him enough to not allow himself to become a sexual opportunist.
Honestly, I don’t think he had any idea of what was REALLY going on. While he modestly took on two humble wives who needed help and support, the Twelve Apostles would meanwhile run wild in Nauvoo trying to accumulate as many young girls as they possibly could
William Law, and Sidney Rigdon, the other two who were duly ordained to receive oracles for the church (D&C 124:126) would never engage in such practices. They were true servants of God.
My favorite thing about Section 124 is the shout-out God gives to the major players in the LDS church. William Law– the one that left the church– gets a serious stamp of approval from the Lord:
97 Let my servant William Law also receive the keys by which he may ask and receive blessings; let him be humble before me, and be without guile, and he shall receive of my Spirit, even the Comforter, which shall manifest unto him the truth of all things, and shall give him, in the very hour, what he shall say.
98 And these signs shall follow him–he shall heal the sick, he shall cast out devils, and shall be delivered from those who would administer unto him deadly poison;
99 And he shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagles’ wings.
100 And what if I will that he should raise the dead, let him not withhold his voice.
101 Therefore, let my servant William cry aloud and spare not, with joy and rejoicing, and with hosannas to him that sitteth upon the throne forever and ever, saith the Lord your God.
God knows the end from the beginning, right? Would God really have said all of this about William had he been about to apostatize from the truth?
Look what God had to tell us about the Twelve:
127 I give unto you my servant Brigham Young to be a president over the Twelve traveling council;
128 Which Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom upon the four corners of the earth, and after that to send my word to every creature.
129 They are Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, William Smith, John Taylor, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, George A. Smith;
THAT’S IT!!!! That’s all, folks!
That’s all God had to say about the future leaders of the LDS church.
If the revelations in the D&C truly contain the words of the Supreme Power who knows all things, and if the LDS church is as true as it’s always been since it got restored in 1830, why wouldn’t God take the opportunity to tell us how amazing Brigham is? Why doesn’t BY get a shout-out?
Will signs not follow Brigham Young? Will he not heal the sick or cast out devils?
Perhaps he was sick and was a devil.
William Law, as promised by God, will work many mighty miracles. Signs will always follow the true servants of God. The fruits of Brigham Young are easy to see. Read his sermons, observe his life. Decide for yourself if that is who Jesus Christ would call to be his prophet.
I’ve made up my mind. Any true prophet would never engage in the charade of plural marriage.
William Law, Sidney Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith (pre-rejection of church) knew polygamy was an abomination. When Joseph hadn’t fallen from his calling, even he was warning against it. And if Joseph was WARNING AGAINST polygamy, this is obviously a huge indication that something more was going on. It’s my belief that God allowed/caused Joseph to fall from his calling. I’ll talk more about this in a future post.
For right now, if there is anyone who still thinks polygamy is the order of eternity and that Brigham Young was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith, it’s time for them to go and read the D&C some more. If you haven’t reached that conclusion, this blog doesn’t have much to offer you.
God has given us all the answers. All the Saints have ever needed to do was to take the Word for what it truly is: the literal words of God.
Section 1 of the D&C says it best:
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled…
So what things has God told the Saints will happen, but have not?
The anti-Mormon’s have flocks of “failed prophecies” they can quip to try and disprove the restoration movement.
Either they are correct and Joseph was a false prophet, or these prophecies will still come to pass.
I know where I’m putting my faith.
In God and his Word.
My next post will be about these unconditional promises and declarations that God has made. The church may no longer have the spiritual gifts that accompany the true church of God, but the Saints are still God’s people, and there are many prophecies that still pertain to them.
Just as God foresaw the fall of Joseph Smith, God has also laid the foundation for the redemption of the Latter-Day Saints.
It’s time to discover the all-knowing God in heaven.
Because we don’t have time for the god of Brigham Young anymore.
QUOTES ON POLYGAMY:
“’Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?’ If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted.” – Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, October 10, 1866
“If we were to do away with polygamy, it would only be one feather in the bird… Do away with that, then we must do away with prophets and Apostles, with revelation and the gifts and graces of the Gospel… and finally give up our religion altogether…. We just can’t do that….” – Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, v. 13, p. 166
And my personal favorite:
“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…. and he will remain single forever and ever.” – Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, September 17, 1877
These next three quotes aren’t really keeping with the theme, but they really spell out what I was trying to get to in this post. The first two are the experiences of women as their husbands decided to take multiple wives; and the third will sum up what thoughts were meanwhile swirling around in the minds of the apostate LDS leadership.
“I do not wish to wrongfully accuse my husband, although we have been hopelessly separated for ten years. I believed, when he decided to enter upon the practice of polygamy, that he did so not from any violence of individual passion, but from sheer fanaticism. He told me that he believed it was his duty to take other women besides myself to wife, and at first he said that this would make no difference in his affection for me, which would continue pure and single as it had ever been. But think of the horror of such an announcement. He took wife after wife until they numbered five, and for a long time they were kept away from me and I was spared from intercourse with them. By and by he told me that he intended to put these five women on an exact equality with me; that he could spend a week with one, a week with another, and so on, and that I should have the sixth week! Then patience forsook me. I told him plainly that I wouldn’t endure it. I said, ‘If you take five wives with your other women you can take the sixth with them also.’ Orson responded, ‘If you don’t choose to live with me I don’t know that I’m obliged to support you. You may have my permission to go to hell. Stick to it or to starvation.”
– Sarah Pratt, New York Herald, May 18, 1877
“I can never tell the horrors of the next few hours…. I went to my room and dressed for the reception, which took place at Cannon’s other house, where he kept his three wives. When I went down, there was a crowd there, among the rest a plain looking girl in a calico dress, to whom I was introduced. It was Emily Spencer…. I told her to get up. Miles came forward and said, ‘Sit still Emily Spencer, my wife.’ I felt as though I had been shot. I said, Your wife! Then what am I?’ He said, ‘You are both my wives.’ All at once my shame flashed over me. Here I was dishonored, the polygamous wife of a Mormon. I ran out of the house, bent only on escape, I did not think where. I could not do it, though for Miles and young Cannon, a son of the Delegate, ran after me and dragged me back…. [B]ut I stole away and returned to the other house, where I had been living the three weeks since my arrival from England. I noticed there was no key in the lock, but shot a little bolt and piled chairs against the door. I cried myself to sleep. The next thing I knew, I don’t know what time it was, Miles stood in the room and was locking the door on the inside. I screamed… Miles said I need not take on, for Brother Cannon had anticipated that I would make trouble and had the house cleared of everyone else. I found out that it was so. He told me that I might as well submit; there was no law here to control the saints. There was no power on earth that would save me.”
– Caroline Owens, in Matilda Joslyn Gage, Women, Church and State, 1998, pp. 238-240
“Supposing that I have a wife or a dozen of them…. Suppose that I lose the whole of them before I go into the spirit world, but that I have been a good, faithful man all the days of my life, and lived my religion, and had favour with God, and was kind to them, do you think I will be destitute there [the “spirit-world”]? No, the Lord says there are more [females] there than there are here…. In the spirit world there is an increase of males and females, there are millions of them, and if I am faithful all the time, and continue right along with brother Brigham, we will go to brother Joseph [Smith] and say, ‘Here we are brother Joesph’…. He will say to us,…. ‘Where are you wives?’ ‘They are back yonder; they would not follow us.’ ‘Never mind,’ says Joseph, ‘here are thousands, have all you want.’ ”
– Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, v. 4, p. 209
No matter how much you may admire Thomas S. Monson, Dieter F. Uchtordf and Henry B. Eyering– whom obviously would all be appalled by these quotes– there is no denying that an apostasy took place from 1842 onwards. To deny it is to condone the evil committed in God’s name under the guise of “celestial marriage.”
We’ll see who’ll really be single throughout eternity…