Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I really want to believe, but the Essays won't let me!

I don't believe that this church is what it says it is; I want to, I really do, but their own essays (essays the church put out this year to explain some of the problems with its history, who knew, huh?)  won't allow that, because the church is saying in them, it's not what it says it is.  I can't help that, I didn't write them, they did; at least I think they did, the essays are not signed by the author(s), but they are posted on the Church's website.  So going back and pretending everything is the same as the way I was taught in Primary, Sunday School and Seminary just doesn't work.  It's not my fault, I was the faithful spouse, I always remained true and never lied, I was faithful, always working in behalf of, supporting, and defending my "spouse" (the Church).  I didn't know my "spouse" had a dubious past, I didn't know it covered up and changed it's history, I didn't know, I swear I didn't know!!  And just as an unfaithful spouse will tear your world apart, cause you to fall to your knees in tears, rip at your very heartstrings, cause angst and threaten your family structure, so do you dear church "partner, spouse."  You have caused tears, sleepless nights, confusion, anger, regret, distrust, confusion, and confusion, more confusion, did I mention that already? I don't know I'm a little confused!

In my youth, attending Seminary, I was just a little "sponge" absorbing all the wonderful things that were being taught, like:

Joseph Smith translating the Book of Mormon using the golden plates and Urim and Thummim.  I was told it occurred just as the church's pictures show, Joseph reading from the plates to the scribe, translating through the power of God with the use of the Urim and Thummim, that was "kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord" for this very purpose.   From the Church's essay I learn that Joseph found "in the ground...a small oval stone or 'seer stone'..." which he used "to look for lost objects and buried treasure." Joseph "often translated with the single seer a hat, pressed his face into the hat to block out extraneous light, and read aloud the English words that appeared on the instrument."  Emma "described Joseph 'sitting with his face buried in his hat, with the stones in it, and dictating hour after hour with nothing between us."  There was no mention of a hat in the lessons I was taught, or that Joseph used his own seer stone that he had found years earlier and which he used to look for buried treasure.  Why would the Lord go to so much trouble to hide away the Urim and Thummim for this purpose, just to have Joseph opt to use at times, his own stone? I didn't get to ask that question in Seminary because this scenario was never taught. Why do the pictures show Joseph translating from the golden plates, and not from a seer stone in a hat?  This good and faithful spouse would like to know, so I won't be so confused. 

I was taught that the Book of Abraham was translated by Joseph Smith from ancient Egyptian papyri, which the church bought, that was written by the hand of Abraham himself.  In the Church's essay on the translation and historicity of the Book of Abraham it says, "None of the characters on the papyrus fragments mentioned Abraham's name or any of the events recorded in the book of Abraham.  Mormon and non-Mormon Egyptologists agree that the characters on the fragments do no match the translation given in the book of Abraham...Scholars have identified the papyrus fragments as parts of standard funerary texts that were deposited with mummified bodies.  These fragments date to between the third century B.C.E and the first century C.E., long after Abraham lived."  But I was never taught that in Seminary, so I couldn't ask how Joseph Smith could have claimed the papyrus were written by the hand of Abraham since they are from the wrong time period, and why the characters on the fragments do no match the translation in the book of Abraham. This good and faithful spouse would like to know so I won't be confused.

In Seminary I remember being taught the reasons for blacks being denied the priesthood. They had been less valiant in the preexistence, and they were from the lineage of Cain, who was cursed with a black skin after killing Abel, and that this was doctrine from God.  From the Church essays I learn: "During the first two decades of the Church's existence, a few black men were ordained to the priesthood...There is no evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith lifetime."  "In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood...Even after 1852, at least two black Mormons continued to hold the priesthood. When one of these men, Elijah Abel, petitioned to receive his temple endowment in 1879, his request was denied.  Jane Manning James...similarly asked to enter the temple; she was allowed to perform baptisms for the dead for her ancestor, but was not allowed to participate in other ordinances." The essay goes on the say that,"Today the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else." Wow, that's quite a lot to absorb!  This good and faithful spouse (me) believed my untruthful spouse (the Church) when he said that blacks could not hold the priesthood because they were less valiant in the preexistence and were from the linage of Cain, which had a curse on it disallowing them to hold the priesthood. What about the revelation? I was told it was doctrine from God and we get our doctrine from God through revelation.  When Brigham Young publicly announced in 1852 that blacks can't hold the priesthood, did he just come up with that on his own?  My untruthful spouse didn't explain to me that blacks had been given the priesthood by Joseph Smith, my "spouse" withheld that information from me.  So I didn't know to ask, how that could have been?  It's all very confusing. 

I remember learning about polygamy, oh thank heaven, I do remember being told about that!  This can't be a cover up, I know I learned about that, and there were really, really good reasons for it, I remember that.  Maybe because I'm a woman and had a vested interest in knowing that there was a really good reason for polygamy (just in case there was a day when I would be asked to share my husband with another woman) I would only want to do that if God really, really needed me to.  And there were really, really good reasons for it. And there were lots of reasons I learned in Seminary, such as, the Church had to grow so there needed to be lots of children. Also, there were a lot more women then men, something to do with women being more righteous, so of course there would be more of those people in the Church.  And this was the fullness of times, so everything had to be restored, including polygamy, even though the men really didn't want to do that, really they didn't!  But Joseph asked about it, and if the Lord told him, he was then bound to obey it (That concept really lodged in my teenage spongy brain, don't ask God anything unless you are seriously going to live it) In fact, Joseph was so hesitant to marry another woman that an angel had to come and threaten his life with a sword. And not only that, if that weren't enough, their entire salvation was at stake!  Okay, I get it! Death, salvation, God is very serious about this, this is the Mother of all doctrine, no pun intended. You just can't be sleeping with all these women and be in God's good graces unless he told you. Which he did in D&C 132. Of course, in D&C 132 it says the women have to be virgins, which would mean they had never been married before, and that wasn't the case in many of the plural marriages, and that the first wife had to consent, which didn't always happen, especially in Joseph's case, where Emma didn't know about most of his wives until long after the marriages.  So again I turned to the Church's essays  to clear up my confusion.  It says "During the years that plural marriage was  publicly taught, all Latter-day Saints were expected to accept the principle as a revelation from God"  That's a bit toned down from what Joseph experienced, the angel threatening him with a sword and all.  They don't mention that part. But they do mention there was a revelation, so there you go, even though they don't quote from it.  But hey, its sourced once in the footnotes, so I know they know about it.  And even though sharing your husband with other women is a really big deal, the essay does offer this warm comfort: "Church leaders recognized that plural marriages could be particularly difficult for women. Divorce was therefore available to women who were unhappy in their marriages..."  Oh that's good, because divorce certainly wasn't a difficult circumstance to endure, especially in the 1800's, out in the West away from everyone, yeah, it's a good thing that was available. And the fact that the Church's main identity is 'families are forever', divorce really cuts at the heart of that, I'm glad the Church made divorce "available" for women, that makes polygamy so much less confusing. 


  1. I am sooooo mad about this!!! I didn't know about any of this until recently and I've been a mormon since birth. Learning about all of the lies and half truths that I was told by the church can be a hurtful, confusing time. I am in mourning for what I thought Mormonism was. :(

  2. Yeah, there's a whole range of emotions that I have been through. I understand the mourning part that you mention. It's so difficult to wrap you mind around it all. And sometimes you want to just go back to the illusion, but even the Church admits to much of the illusion in it's essays, so what are you going to do? You can't go back when even they admit it's not what you were taught from birth. Yeah, I'd say I'm in mourning too! Thanks for your comments, sorry it took so long to respond.

  3. Debbie,
    Another great post! I am reading through your blog and really enjoying them.
    Polygamy/plural marriage/ spiritual wife system is false doctrine and so is Section 132. 132 is filled with all kinds of new terms, new levels of righteousness and outright lies and falsehoods. The first time I ever read it as a teenager was shocking. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and seemed completely out of place with other scripture I had read. I didn't understand it or believe it.
    Here are just a few examples of some of the problems it has:
    The "new and everlasting covenant" was originally the name for baptism shown in D&C 22:1 until the polygamists co-opted that term and applied it to plural/eternal/celestial marriage. So, in 132:4 we are all the sudden told it means something else entirely. None of those other marriage terms are found anywhere in any other scripture outside 132. Why not if they are the pinnacle of God's plan for us?

    We have also been told we will retain all our memories and have the same nature and disposition in the next life, right? So how are my brother and I not going to have a continuing relationship as brothers in that scenario? Who is going to stop it or break that bond and history we would have if we weren't sealed together as a family? And for what purpose?
    And lets say I have a really good friend who I have been friends with my whole life and we also both end up in the terrestrial kingdom? Are we not going to continue our friendship? We weren't sealed as friends. And if we can and do continue the friendship why would a friendship last and not a family relationship? That is dumb.
    Yet if you read 132:7 it says NEITHER will continue unless sealed by the holy spirit of promise.

    7 And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: ALL covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is NEVER but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

    This is such a ridiculous overreach it is laughable. Isn't baptism a covenant? Says here it will be of no effect. 132 is not scripture. It is a ridiculous collection of garbage. The church doesn't even follow it anyway as they have given the sealing keys to tons of priesthood holders. Continued . .

  4. Here's another:
    24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

    Huh? this is a contradiction. You can have eternal life but NOT eternal lives! If you have more than one eternal life than you never had an eternal life in the first place. Whoever wrote this couldn't even think logically.

    And an outright lie:
    37 Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as ISAAC also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods

    This is a lie as Isaac never had more than one wife. His ONLY wife was Rebekah. He was not a polygamist. He and Rebecca prayed and waited patiently for 20 years until they were blessed with a child and thus didn't resort to taking another wife like Abraham in order to have kids.

    A careful reading and analysis of 132 will reveal so many problems, lies, inconsistencies and illogical clams it is pathetic. This is not scripture and it is not revelation from God. It is the doctrine of man, MEN in fact, based on their lust and the desire for power and domination over women.

    Here is a link to a good analysis of it:
    This is a fantastic blog with tons of scriptural commentary.


  5. Greg, thanks for your comments, your analysis of section 132 is very good. This "scripture" is very contradictory and contradicts the behavior of those practicing polygamy. They didn't follow the "guidelines" as they are set out in 132. What you said, "Who is going to stop it or break that bond and history we would have if we weren't sealed together as a family? And for what purpose?" That is the real questions that needs to be asked. For what purpose? If we are all about families, then God must be all about families. So why is the family always threatened? It's the most harsh threat to hold over someone. But it has dividends that pay off, namely people clinging to the church in fear of loosing their family. If you explained to an investigator that, "if you join this church and ever fall away or leave it, your eternal family will be dissolved." They would never join. But that isn't explained to them. They are told that through temple covenants they can have their family forever, but most people before becoming Mormon believe their family is eternal anyway, in some form or other. But once you join, the church now has power over your family and its ability to be together in eternity. Anyway, I'm digressing from 132, but its all kind of connected. is a great blog I've been to it many times! Thanks for mentioning it.