Containing 5,717 Articles Spanning 332 Topics  
Ex-Mormon News, Stories And Recovery  
Online Since January 1, 2005  
PLEASE NOTE: If you have reached this page from an outside source such as an Internet Search or forum referral, please note that this page (the one you just landed on) is an archive containing articles on "DALLIN H. OAKS". This website, The Mormon Curtain - is a website that blogs the Ex-Mormon world. You can read The Mormon Curtain FAQ to understand the purpose of this website.
⇒  CLICK HERE to visit the main page of The Mormon Curtain.
  DALLIN H. OAKS
Total Articles: 101
Mormon Apostle Dallin H. Oaks.
topic image
The Family Relationships Wouldn't Be Impaired If Family Members Who Believe In The Church's Doctrine Would Mind Their Own Business
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 09:07 AM
Original Author(s): Mantisdolphin
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
What set me off about Oaks' talk was that the over-emphasis on law implicitly advises TBM family members that shunning is an option. Oaks isn't going to come out and say "Shun your family members who aren't part of the church." That sounds too uncharitable. No one would buy it but the most diehard fanatics. But ultimately, what else can one conclude from what he said?

He used the word "chasteneth," saying that God chastens and thereby shows his love. So if you love your kids, your family members, then chastening them is fine. He advised the church members that "real love for the sinner may compel confrontation." What does that mean? "Confrontation" sounds pretty active, in your face, and that can include the social violence of shunning or stigmatizing (and of course there is no lack of that directed by church members toward "apostates"). Both shunning and stigmatizing reinforce and call forth each other.

Oaks said, "real love does not support self-destructive behavior." Okay, sure I'm not going to let my kid run into the street. That's destructive behavior; I'm going to try to get a spouse help who abuses alcohol. But is it "self-destructive" for someone to decide to follow another religious or existential path than one laid out by the church? That's pretty much that person's decision I think. What some members of the church may see or construe as "self-destructive" behavior could be someone just following his or her conscience to believe what seems right for that person. The eleventh article of faith covers that. So the TBMs should really just back the F off. Oaks is having none of that though. He wants them being confrontational and chastising with the non-believers in their families. Of all the aggressive means in the believer's playbook against a family member who is apostatizing, "shunning"--the action of purposefully ignoring someone, leaving them out of consideration--covers a lot of what would be done. Omission becomes commission.

For Oaks to say that someone not kowtowing to the church's view of salvation leaves a family in a "house divided," with the "son divided against the father," etc., just invites--and this is really the only point that matters in finding Oaks' talk hateful--TBM family members to perform their "patient efforts" to "unite" their straying loved ones "in understanding God's love and God's law." Those "patient efforts" could involve shunning, subtle forms of stigmatizing, all manner of BS that most people on this board have experienced first-hand. Oaks couches the TBM compulsion in gentle terms in his conclusion, but he advances his argument with terms like "division" in the home and the inevitability ("after all we can do") of "impairing" our family relationships. These are not part of a live and let live philosophy, but of a relentless badgering of the non-believing family member.

The family relationships wouldn't be impaired if family members who believe in the church's doctrine would mind their own business (something Oaks doesn't want them to do). If the TBMs just got along with their own "happiness"--not letting it be contingent on re-activating or baptizing "wayward" family members--then there would be no problem. But Oaks is interested in fanning flames of division. He wants the church members to feel the necessity to "confront" their "loved one" who has left the tithing fold. To me, his talk invites TBMs to be aggressive in their re-conversion efforts, and that's not what I need my family to hear as I try to get them the heck out of this stupid church. I'm trying to de-tox them and he's trying to get them to spread the poison anew.
topic image
Dear Mr. Oaks: Family, Isn't It About Time?
Monday, Oct 12, 2009, at 09:08 AM
Original Author(s): Moniker
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dear Mr. Oaks,

I listened to your conference address and have felt the effects of your talk in my personal life. I feel compelled to let you know the actions your words have caused in my life.

I did not leave the Mormon church because of any personal offenses by my family or friends within the church. Choosing to leave the Mormon faith was a very difficult decision for me. I was obeying all of the commandments at the time that I started researching Mormon literature and history to find the truths for myself. I was simply following Joseph Smith's example, by searching the truth of religion. I was sad to realize how untrue the church was, after reading the Church's early documents.

I had loving and supportive parents. Even though I knew they would be disappointed, I did not think my family would shun me the way they did when I told them my thoughts about the church. I was expecting them to still love me unconditionally. I was very disappointed. They used all kinds of threats and manipulation to get me to go back to church. When my mom died and we were dressing her body, my dad took the opportunity as a missionary lesson and said, "If you go to the temple again, you will be able to see her again. If not, you will never, ever see her again." This was a very horrible thing to say to a daughter who has just lost her best friend, her mother. It really hurt me. This and being left out of family get-togethers or barely being tolerated, simply because of my beliefs, helped me to see even more clearly what my family members' true colors were.

Before this experience with my family, I was so torn about what to do concerning the church. On the one hand, I did not like to live a lie by participating in an organization I did not agree with and that I thought was corrupt. On the other hand, I couldn't reconcile how a corrupt organization could have so many wonderful people as members. I looked up to and admired many mormon friends, family members and professors. However, when my friends and family turned away from me because of my beliefs, my previous notions about the people within the church were shattered. It was a testimony to me of what a corrupt organization can do to otherwise loving and good people.

In your talk, you claimed that a parent who keeps loving a child unconditionally, when that child is not "obeying the law", knows nothing of love. I disagree and feel that you know nothing about love. Firstly, your belief in your church is not "the law". It is a belief that you are free to have. A child who has a belief differing from yours is not "wayward" and is in need of neither fixing nor manipulating, especially not when one's child is an adult, as you suggested. Adult children should be free to choose their own religious belief system without expecting to be shunned or chastised by their family. Secondly, parental love does not know conditions or bounds. It does not manipulate. A family is supposed to stick together, through good and hard times and no matter what the individual members' beliefs are or aren't. A divided family is not a functional family. You suggested that although being seperated from family members who are not believing or living all of your church's teachings is painful for the righteous Mormons, it is sometimes necessary. I find this instruction to the members of your church to be hurtful. The personal effects are devestating and very painful to many Exmormons.

Since leaving the church and Utah, I have met many wonderful families. I'm envious of the loving, unconditional love and respect they show each other. I never saw this at this level with Mormon families. Since Mormons claim to have cornered the market on perfect families, this fallacy is even more difficult to digest.

Your talk had very interesting timing for me personally. I am of pioneer stock and all of my family members are very active in your church. I am a BYU graduate. I served way beyond what was asked of me within your church. I tell you this before you scoff to yourself and think, "I'm glad a loser like her is out of my church anyway." I am a good person and was a good Mormon. I was such a great daughter, sister and aunt. My family was my world and I love them more than I will ever be able to express in words. However, my son is my closest family member and I have to consider his needs in life first, above all else. I simply cannot expose him to the hurt of my family. I don't want him to be shunned and manipulated by family members the way I was. I think that not having an extended family is better than having a very hurtful, caustic one. There is not a place in my family for people who do not believe as they believe.

It is very sad to not have any grandparents for my darling baby though. They don't get to hear his first words or see his first steps. They don't get hand colored scribbles of "I love you" in the mail. My son doesn't get to see them at Christmas or to play with his many cousins. I was so sad about this recently, that I was considering letting them back into my life, even after the very hurtful ways they treated me, simply for being true to my own belief system.

I was starting to talk to my dad again by phone and email. I was skeptical because of how much he hurt me and proved to me that my family really wasn't a family at all. However, I did not want to deprive my baby of an extended family, so I was willing to have an open mind and heart about my family and give them another chance. There was another reason for opening the door to my family again: I loved them unconditionally. I love them so deeply and truly that it hurts because they continually put their religious beliefs before their love for me. These are the reasons why I opened myself back up to them again. I was treading lightly and using caution though, as I did not want to hurt my son indirectly, through my family's almost sociopathic need to "follow their leaders".

Then came your talk! Next came my family's horrible attacks on my character and my own little family. I once again am reminded of the pain the Mormon church leaves in its wake. I don't need to go through that pain again. I don't need my son to think this is the way a family is supposed to behave. I will teach him how loving family members treat each other through my unconditional love for him. He will know me by my fruits. I am grateful for my family in that they have taught me exactly how not to be in raising my own family. I have learned much from them.

I'm very happy to be at even more peace than ever with my decision to leave the Mormon church. I have no doubt at all now that it was the right thing to do. The evidence of how corrupt and unloving the Mormon church is has been impossible to ignore lately. I used to love it and it pained me to have it out of my life, even after it no longer represented any kind of truth for me. Now, I am at peace because I have watched the behavior of many Mormons long enough now to see how a corrupt organization turns love into a perverse concept. I am finally free of the guilt I had in keeping my son from my family. They are the ones keeping themselves from him. I would be an idiot to give them another chance. Thank you for your talk and especially for the timing of it. My son's life will be richly blessed because of it.

Sincerely,

A Loving Exmormon Mom
topic image
Oaks Is Too Obtuse To See The Irony
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009, at 09:08 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks on Tuesday likened the post-Proposition 8 backlash against Mormons to the persecution blacks endured during the civil-rights struggle.

"Were four little Mormon girls blown up in the church at Sunday school? Were there burning crosses planted on local bishops' lawns? Were people lynched and their genitals stuffed in their mouths?" asked University of Utah historian Colleen McDannell. "By comparing these two things, it diminishes the real violence that African-Americans experienced in the '60s, when they were struggling for equal rights. There is no equivalence between the two."

Oaks, in a strongly worded defense of the church's efforts opposing same-sex marriage, told students at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg that Latter-day Saints "must not be deterred or coerced into silence" by advocates for "alleged civil rights."

Last year, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged its followers to donate money and time to pass Prop 8, the successful ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to wed in California. Afterward, protests, including several near LDS temples, erupted along with boycotts of business owners who donated to Prop 8 and even some vandalism of LDS meetinghouses.

"In their effect," Oaks said, "they are like the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation."

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP's Salt Lake branch, said there is "no comparison."

"I don't see where the LDS Church has been denied any of their rights," she said. "What the gay and lesbian communities are fighting for, that is a civil-rights issue."
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_1355258...

This analogy is so twisted on so many levels, but for one, where was LDS during the civil rights marches of the 1960s... Oh, that's right. Ezra Taft Benson was denouncing it as a communist plot, while the rank and file held the separation of races as part of the divine plan. Here's just one quote from a Church approved manual back then...

“Perhaps the most convincing book in JUSTIFICATION of the south in DENYING TO THE NEGRO RACE SOCIAL EQUALITY with the white race is the one written by William Benjamin Smith, entitled The Color Line, A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn, from which the following is a quotation: “'Here, then, is laid bare the news of the whole matter: Is the south JUSTIFIED in this ABSOLUTE DENIAL OF SOCIAL EQUALITY to the NEGRO, no matter what his (personal) virtues or abilities or accomplishments? “'We affirm, then that the south is ENTIRELY RIGHT in thus keeping open at all times, at all hazards, and at all sacrifices an IMPASSIBLE SOCIAL CHASM BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE. This she must do in behalf of her blood, her essence, of the stock of her Caucasian race.... The moment the bar of ABSOLUTE SEPERATION is thrown down in the south, that moment the bloom of her spirit is BLIGHTED FOREVER,... That the negro is MARKEDLY INFERIOR to the Caucasian is proved both craniologically and by six thousand years of planet-wide experimentation; and that the commingling of INFERIOR with SUPERIOR must lower the higher is just as certain as that the half-sum of two and six is only four.' (The Color Line, pp. 7-12)” (First Year Book in the Seventy's Course in Theology, pages 231-233)

The LDS Church has now just proclaimed that their religious freedom is now under attack because they were successful in denying civil rights to a minority group?

Am I getting that right?

And Oaks has the absolute gall to compare themselves to the same persecution the African American community had in the past?

Please, would someone in the media call this so called church out???

I now have absolutely ZERO respect for Dallin H Oaks. Good job, Mr Apostle man.

I find it ironic that this impassioned, if misguided and ill-informed, defense is coming from Mr. Oaks. This is the man who has repeatedly claimed: "It's wrong to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true." If he had the run of the world, I somehow don't expect that free speech would be thriving.
topic image
White Noise From The Supremacist Boys: Oaks' Insulting Performance In Twisting LDS Racist History
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
One of Mormonusm's top (and arguably most malevolent) hierarchal henchmen, Dallin H. Oaks--in a fresh warning to a youthfully malleable, blindly obedient, humbly assembled herd of student sheep at Idaho's extension of Brigham Young University--sought to liken stiff opposition to the Mormon Church’s recent political campaign of subterfuge against equal rights for gays to the ugly racist opposition encountered by African-Americans during the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Claiming that Mormons, like African-Americans, have been the victims of “aggressive intimidation” and "violence," Oaks declared that such incidents were “anti-democratic” in nature and comparable to “the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation.” (Dallin H. Oaks, "Religious Freedom," transcript of speech delivered at Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, 13 October 2009)

Oaks’ effort to cloak Mormons in the same national experience of pain and suffering as faced by Black Americans in the South was a shocking manifestation of his boundless, egregious, and pitifully arrogant insensitivity--particularly since it comes from a man who represents a Mormon Church that is itself saddled with a long, ugly and authenticated legacy of bigoted doctrinal teachings and practices against African-Americans.

Oaks inexcusable effort to equate the political resistance Mormons have encountered in their designs to deny equal rights to gays with the torturous and brutal racist treatment to which American Blacks have been mercilessly subjected for generations was not only breathtakingly inappropriate but factually selective and historically indefensible.

In sneakily and self-servingly seeking to make Mormons blood-brothers with African-Americans in both plight and purpose, Oaks conveniently left out of his self-pitying speech any mention of the history of the Salt Lake City-based Mormon Church’s racially-poisoned pronouncements and actions over the last several decades that specifically targeted Utah's African-American community (and, indeed, African-Americans across the country) for social isolation, criminal punishment and sweeping denial of equal protection under the law.

Respected historian on Mormon matters D. Michael Quinn (who happens to be gay) offers a devastatingly detailed account of the Utah Mormon Church’s blatant anti-Black plan-of-action bigotry. Entitled “Prelude to the National ‘Defense of Marriage’ Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities,” it recounts the cold-hearted track record of the Mormon Church behind Utah’s Zion Curtain in waging relentless racial war against the state's Black population.

Let us count the ways it historically did so, as outlined by Quinn:

--The Utah’s Mormon Church Sanction of State Laws Against Interracial Marriage, Combined with Mormon Church Encouragement of Death Threats Against Blacks--

In what he aptly describes as Mormon “social hysteria,” Quinn recounts how, with the Mormon Church’s support, laws were enacted in Utah that made interracial marriage a punishable crime. In the process of cementing such laws into place, sentiments were publicly expressed by Mormon Church leaders condoning the actual killing of African-Americans found in violation of the state's anti-Black marriage laws.

As Quinn notes:

“This [social hysteria] was . . . evident in Salt Lake City, where a warning to ‘meddle not with white women’ was pinned to the flesh of a murdered black man in 1866. LDS apostle Brigham Young, Jr., referred to the murdered man as ‘a [rhymes with “trigger”].’ This occurred three years after his father [Mormon Church president Brigham Young] had publicly informed the Mormons that if African-Americans had relations with white women, ‘the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot.’”

Quinn notes that “President Young's published sermon gave official encouragement for Mormons to kill black men,” adding that, in Quinn’s opinion, Young was therefore “morally responsible for this 1866 murder.”

”Likewise,” Quinn writes, “in an 1881 sermon on Salt Lake's Temple Square, Southern States Mission President John Morgan spoke approvingly of hanging Negro males ‘to a lamp-post’ for ‘impudence.’ This appeared in the officially published ‘Deseret News' and ‘Journal of Discourses,’ and Morgan became an LDS General Authority a year after a Salt Lake City mob lynched an African-American male on a lamp-post in 1883 for killing an LDS bishop. Apostle Heber J. Grant wrote that ‘the citizens’ hanged ‘the [again, rhymes with “trigger”].’”

Quinn further observes:

“There was no mystery about why Utah law continued to prohibit interracial marriage. In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that ‘the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.’ In other words, the First Presidency condemned interracial marriage as abnormal. In 1950, Counselor Clark added that "anything that breaks down the color line leads to marriage." Five years later, on behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote to the First Presidency about African-American members of the LDS church in Utah and referred to the "danger of intermarriage."

“In 1963, Utah ended its restrictions on interracial marriage, and Counselor [Hugh B.] Brown officially endorsed civil rights for persons of all races that year. However, until that year, every living prophet of the LDS church since Brigham Young either actively opposed the civil rights of African-Americans or passively endorsed the existing civil discriminations against them in Utah.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Early and Continued Support of Institutionalized Slavery--

Writes Quinn:

“Even after federal emancipation of America's slaves in the 1860s, LDS Church president Brigham Young referred to African-American slavery as a religious necessity. Earlier, as both Church president and governor, he had instructed the Utah legislature in 1852 to legalize the slavery of African-Americans.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Complicity in the Entrenchment of Racially Discriminatory Laws Against Utah Blacks--

Notes Quinn:

“Utah's racial discrimination did not occur by happenstance nor did it continue into modern times by accident. It was promoted by the highest leaders of the state's dominant [Mormon] Church. As late as 1941, Counselor J. Reuben Clark used the word [rhymes with ‘trigger’] in his First Presidency office diary. In 1944, the First Presidency authorized local LDS leaders to join ‘as individuals a civic organization whose purpose is to restrict and control negro settlement’ in Salt Lake City. A year later, LDS president George Albert Smith wrote: ‘Talked to Pres. Clark andamp; Nicholas [G. Smith, an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles] about the use of [LDS] meeting houses for meetings to prevent Negroes from becoming neighbors.' The Church president's diary did not indicate whether he endorsed or opposed this activity, but his brother Nicholas G. Smith described it as ‘race hatred.’"

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Support of Denial of Food, Hotel and Other Basic Services to Utah Blacks--

Quinn writes:

”For more than a century, Utah restricted African-Americans from patronizing white restaurants and hotels, prohibited them from public swimming pools, and required them to sit in the balconies of theaters. During World War II, African-Americans wearing their nation's uniform had to sit in the balcony of Utah theaters, while German prisoners-of-war sat on the main floor with white servicemen and civilians. Utah law also prohibited marriage between a white person and a black (including persons only one-eighth Negro).”

“During this era of Utah's racial segregation, the First Presidency . . . repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply ‘the practice of the hotel.’

”Internationally renowned singer Marian Anderson endured this racial discrimination in Utah. When she gave her first recital at the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall, this African-American was denied entry to any of Salt Lake City's hotels and had to stay with one of the concert's promoters. When she returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS Church's Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America's beloved contralto ‘was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.’ This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby. Likewise, invited to speak at the University of Utah, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche was allowed to stay at the LDS church's hotel in 1951 only after this black man agreed to use the freight elevator, ‘have his meals in his room and not come to the dining room.’

”Due to their international fame, Anderson and Bunche were exceptions to the Mormon rules of race. As Hotel Utah's senior vice-president, J. Reuben Clark explained: ‘Since they are not entitled to the Priesthood, the Church discourages social intercourse with the negro race . . . .’ Therefore, African-Americans were denied equal access to the LDS church's hotel in order ‘to preserve the purity of the race that is entitled to hold the Priesthood.’”

“In 1961, a survey of Salt Lake City by the NAACP showed that 12 percent of cafes, restaurants, and taverns declined to serve blacks, while 80 percent of the city's beauty shops and barber shops refused to do so. Likewise, 72 percent of Salt Lake City's hotels and 49 percent of its motels refused accommodations to African-Americans that year.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Advocacy of Separate Blood Banks for Whites and Blacks In Order to Maintain the "Purity" of White Mormon Blood--

“In 1953, a First Presidency secretary also informed a white Mormon about the less-obvious extent of Utah's racial segregation: ‘The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.’ According to [First] Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called ‘white people’ was intended ‘to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.’”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Support of Racial Discrimination Outside the Boundaries of Utah--

As Quinn reports:

“President [Joseph F.] Smith's counselors . . . extended their support of racial segregation to states beyond Utah. In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, Counselor Clark asked the LDS Church's attorney in that area ‘to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.’ A month later, during the meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple, ‘President Clark called attention to the sentiment among many people in this country to the point that we should break down all racial lines, [and] as a result of which sentiment negro people have acquired an assertiveness that they never before possessed and in some cases have become impudent.’ In 1949, while criticizing the legislative efforts in Arizona to ‘guarantee rights of Negroes,’ LDS presidency counselor David O. McKay said, ‘The South knows how to handle them and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there--[but] in California they are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.’” (Quinn adds that McKay, in fact, “instructed an Arizona stake president against that state's proposed legislation to ‘guarantee rights of Negroes’") . . . Likewise, in 1950 Counselor Clark wrote: 'Race tolerance: the trend is just terrible.’”

--Efforts At Obstruction by Utah’s Mormon Church of National Civil Rights Legislation Designed to Grant Equality to Blacks in Broad Areas of Daily Life--

“With such beliefs,” writes Quinn, “the LDS First Presidency did what it could to block national efforts for the civil rights of African-Americans. As previously noted, Counselor McKay in 1949 instructed an Arizona stake president against that state's proposed legislation to 'guarantee rights of Negroes.' Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford ‘that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.’ At that time, Spafford was a vice-president of the National Council of Women.

”As American views began changing toward race relations from the 1940s onward, the Mormons of Utah continued to follow the example of LDS leaders against civil rights for African-Americans. There was widespread use in all-white neighborhoods of Utah's Uniform Real Estate Contract, Form 30, which prohibited the purchaser of real estate and his/her heirs from reselling the property ‘to any person not of the Caucasian race.’ The Salt Lake City School District prohibited blacks from being teachers and from fulfilling student-teaching requirements of their university training. In addition, 40 percent of Utah's employers refused to hire Negroes. Employers who did hire blacks also discriminated against them in job assignment, promotion, and salary. Blacks were prohibited from eating at the lunch counter of Salt Lake's City-County Building. All of Utah's bowling alleys excluded African-Americans, and LDS hospitals segregated black patients, sometimes requiring them to pay for private rooms. This was also the policy at Utah's Catholic hospitals.”

“After Counselor Clark's death in 1961, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson became the Mormon hierarchy's strident voice against the national crusade for African-American civil rights. Benson's Negrophobic rhetoric intensified after the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 drastically changed Utah's patterns of racial discrimination. In 1965 and 1967, he stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that ‘the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.’ In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book ‘Black Hammer’, which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover. Subtitled ‘White Alternatives’, this book warned about the ‘well-defined plans for the establishment of a Negro Soviet dictatorship in the South.’ In 1968, Apostle Benson also instructed BYU students about ‘black Marxists’ and ‘the Communists and their Black Power fanatics.’

”At this time, LDS president David O. McKay had a Democrat (Hugh B. Brown) as a counselor, who was mystified that McKay allowed Benson to endorse the speeches and activities of nationally known segregationists. This politically liberal counselor was unaware of the LDS church president's private views about ‘insolent’ African-Americans who wanted equal rights.

“[In 1963], Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told ‘Look’ magazine's editor: ‘”Darkies” are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.’ At best, this revealed the racial paternalism that governed LDS headquarters. However, this platitude was also a smoke-screen for the worst of what Utah Mormon leaders had done against African-American rights for the previous 116 years.”

(D. Michael Quinn, “Prelude to the National ‘Defense of Marriage’ Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities,” originally published in “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought,” 33:3, pp. 1-52)

So, Dallin H. Oaks, when you so unconvincingly and with such glaring intellectual dishonesty seek sympathy by attempting, as a slippery-tongued Mormon misfit, to align your historically racist Church with “the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks [in this country]," why don’t you go one step further and inform Americans everywhere of the Mormon Church’s historic intimidation of African-Americans?

After all, thanks to your unimpressive effort at historical revisionism, that historic intimidation by the Mormon Church of Blacks is becoming, shall we say, more well-known and more widely condemned all the time.

Keep up the good work.
topic image
Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage
Friday, Oct 16, 2009, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Peter_mary
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The ancient order of marriage is the divinely sanctioned union, recognized by the state, between one man and one woman.
"We follow Jesus Christ by adhering to God's law of marriage, which is marriage between one man and one woman. This commandment has been in place from the very beginning." See: http://www.sltrib.com/Faith/ci_135548...
EXCEPT, if you are the Patriarch, Abraham, in which case you can be married to Sarah (who might be your half-sister), and to Sarah's slave girl, Hagar. The ancient order of marriage is pretty liberal when it comes to marrying siblings, cousins and slaves.

EXCEPT, if you are Kind David or King Solomon, in which case you might have as many as 300 wives and 300 additional concubines, and copulating with and siring children by slaves was perfectly acceptible, both in the eyes of your citizens, and in the eyes of God, who sanctioned the practice.

EXCEPT, if you are Jesus, and married to both Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth (and likely others) [Teaching unique to early Mormon apostles, most notably Jedediah Grant, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young]

EXCEPT, if you are Joseph Smith, in which case you can secretely practice polygamy to girls as young as 14, and also be married to women who are already married to other men. The ancient order of marriage demands, however, that you don't tell your first wife about all the others, because it makes her really mad. For that matter, it's best not to tell ANYONE except your good buddies, because then they might think twice about your apostolic calling.

EXCEPT, if you are Brigham Young, in which case you can have as many as 55 wives married to you in this life, and untold numbers sealed to you in the life hereafter. It is also perfectly acceptable to divorce them if they don't take care of themselves, or expect you to take care of them.

EXCEPT, if you are John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, George Cannon, Heber Kimball, and on and on and on, in which case you can obtain a new wife every time your last wife gets worn out.

EXCEPT, if your wife died, and you're an LDS apostle, you can be sealed to another, much younger woman, so you'll get both of 'em in the eternities. (Dallin Oaks married June Dixon in 1952, who passed away in 1998. In 2000, he married Kristen McMain, both of whom are sealed to him for time and all eternity--contrary to the "ancient order of marriage.")

But other than THAT, the Mormons are absolutely correct in defending the "ancient order of marriage."
topic image
Dallin Oaks Blames Not Turning Over Subpoenaed Evidence In Hofmann Case On GA Vacation Schedule
Sunday, Jul 11, 2010, at 09:09 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
CA Girl writes:
"Did you know that GAs take the month of July off work?

"I ran into a friend and her husband at the fireworks on the Fourth. I was surprised to see them there on a Sunday, as he is very TBM and used to work at the COB [Church Office Building] before he retired. I won't relay the whole conversation, but at one point he said there are no GA's at the COB in July. They all take the whole month off because they 'work so hard all year during the week and spend their weekends going to regional conferences, building dedications, etc.'

"I don't really have an opinion on this practice - I was just in the church for decades, lived in Utah for several years and I never heard this before so I thought it would be interesting to share."
What "CA girl" reports about GA summer vacationing is true, as directly confirmed by Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks, with whom (along with fellow apostle Neal A. Maxwell) I had closed-door conversations in the Church Administration Building about a wide range of topics.

On the heels of the Mark Hofmann bombings in 1985 and in private one-on-one discussions I had with Oaks in his personal LDS Church office (followed by conversations I had with both him and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell in 1993 in the Church Administration Building), I learned how GA vacation schedules supposedly got in the way of the Mormon Church cooperating fully with Salt Lake City police investigators.

When I met with Oaks and Maxwell, I asked them (from an outline of questions I brought with me) "why the [Mormon] Church [was] not more open with its own historical documents, specifically as relating to the refusal of the Church to acknowledge the existence of, or share with, law enforcement authorities the McLellin papers during the Hofmann investigation."

(By way of background, William E. McLellin was, as described by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith in their book, "The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death" [New York, New York: Weidenfeld andamp; Nicolson, 1988, p. 164], "an early Apostle and close associate of Joseph Smith's who left the Church in 1836 to become one of its bitterest enemies." Naifeh and Smith wrote that "[i]t had long been rumored that McLellin, who kept the minutes at early meetings of the Twelve, had taken with him a pirate's chest full of papers, letters and journals, all of it incriminating, with which to destroy the Church. Over the years, tantalizing clues had turned up. But neither the Collection itself, nor any part of it, had ever surfaced").

This collection, contrary to Hofmann's claims, was eventually determined not to exist.

However, the LDS Church did have in its possession certain McLellin papers, as admitted by Richard E. Turley, Jr., in his Oaks-sanctioned book, "Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case" (Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1992, p. 303). It was these papers that were the subject of my conversation with Oaks and Maxwell.

In the fall of 1985, a few days after the Hofmann bombings, I accompanied Chuck Kelly (a reporter from the "Arizona Republic"), to Salt Lake City to assist him in making contacts for covering the story.

While in Utah, we attempted to get an audience with Oaks. He refused to grant a newspaper interview but did agree to meet with me in his office. I remember how starkly clean the top of Oaks' desk was. In fact, there was nothing on it at all, except for a single newspaper article, the subject of which I could not read, since from where Oaks sat, it was upside down. During our brief chat, Oaks was very cryptic in his comments, saying nothing of substance about the Hofmann scandal.

A few years later (after Hofmann had been bundled off to prison and prior to me meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in 1993), I again visited with Oaks in Salt Lake City. This time Oaks was somewhat more willing to talk about the Hofmann affair--specifically, why the Mormon Church had not, even in the face of a law enforcement subpoena, produced the McLellin papers, which it had in its possession. The reasons, Oaks said, were two-fold:

First, the Mormon Church had privately determined that the McLellin papers it possessed were not relevant to the police investigation.

Second, there were no Mormon Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper, because the Church personnel authorized to do so were all on vacation.

Fast forward to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in September 1993.

Oaks told me that the Mormon Church had discovered in mid-March of 1986 that it possessed some McLellin papers--and so publicly announced. Maxwell concurred, adding that the McLellin papers had been "stuffed away somewhere" and the Church did not realize it had them.

Oaks said that the McLellin papers held by the Mormon Church had been originally purchased by a representative sent by then-President Joseph F. Smith to Texas who, under orders to make sure they did not fall into "the wrong hands," acquired them for $50.00.

Oaks said McLellin (who became disaffected from the Mormon Church and eventually left it), had ransacked Joseph Smith's home while Smith was incarcerated and taken several of Smith's belongings. Oaks said the Mormon Church was concerned the papers McLellin had purloined would turn out to be very negative and reflect poorly on the Church. In sympathy with the Mormon Church's decision to buy these McLellin papers back, Oaks noted that President Joseph F. Smith's father, Hyrum, had been murdered by a mob and was thus naturally very sensitive to the potential negative contents of the papers.

Oaks told me that when it came to the Mormon Church's attention that it did, in fact, have McLellin papers in its possession, the discovery process was already underway, preliminary trial motions were ongoing and Hofmann was destined to plea-bargain in July.

Oaks said the Quorum of the Twelve debated about when they should bring the McLellin papers forward. He said that if the Mormon Church had at that time revealed it was in possession of McLellin's papers, the press would have made "a big brouhaha about it."

Besides, he said, the McLellin papers the Mormon Church had were of no relevance to trial evidence being requested by the police (although Oaks admitted that no one in the Quorum had read them at the time or knew what was in them).

Oaks further defended the Mormon Church's refusal to provide its McLellin papers to law enforcement investigators on the grounds that the subpoena only requested McLellin documents that Hofmann, not the Church, was said to have possessed.

He said that the whole question of this portion of the investigation centered on whether Hofmann even had the McLellin papers. Oaks said that the Mormon Church made a conscious decision not to bring forward the McLellin papers during the preliminaries. He said the Mormon Church decided it would wait until those proceedings were over, then produce them before trial. That option was negated, he said, when Hofmann plea-bargained in July.

Oaks also argued that the Mormon Church only had between May and August of that year as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out. Since everyone was on vacation in August, he said, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

At any rate, he maintained, that interval was too narrow, so the Mormon Church decided to wait until Turley's book, "Victims," was published in 1992. Oaks said the book explained the proper context, the role of the Mormon Church and the facts on the ground regarding the McLellin papers. Following its publication, Oaks said the Mormon Church decided to release the McLellin documents it had in its possession.

Oaks claimed that at the time the Mormon Church brought them out, it realized (apparently, he suggested, for the first time) that they spoke positively and glowingly of the LDS Church. He said they were written by McLellin in his earlier missionary years of Church service.

So, blame all that uncooperative foot-draggin' on the Mormon Church's vacation schedule for its hierarchy. The calendar made them do it.

Yeah, that's the ticket.
topic image
Dallin Oaks Spoke Yesterday
Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010, at 09:10 AM
Original Author(s): Michaelm
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks spoke yesterday on the constitution:
"Whatever the merits of current controversies over the laws of marriage ... if the decisions of federal courts can override the actions of state lawmakers on this subject, we have suffered a significant constitutional reallocation of lawmaking power from the lawmaking branch to the judicial branch and from the states to the federal government."
In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that:
"Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
Less than ten years after the federal courts banned states from prohibiting interracial marriage, a member of a stake presidency told my wife that she should marry "her own kind".

Are these priesthood folks really going to save the constitution?
"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. **Everything** may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii

Here are two preambles. The first is from the United States Constitution. The second is from the Constitution of the Confederate States.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

Oaks Speech:
"I referred to these fundamentals as the divinely inspired principles in the Constitution, and I here affirm my belief that they are."
(Confederate constitution mentions guidance of God in the preamble, U.S. constitution does not)
"I mention first what is probably the most important of the great fundamentals of the United States Constitution-the principle of popular sovereignty"
(The preamble to the Confederate constitution mentions sovereignty, the U.S. constitution does not. It is so important in the confederate version that it is in the opening sentance.)
"The dominance of state law will also be changed if, after full review, federal courts decree that a state law on marriage is invalid under the United States Constitution."
Constitutional rights for interracial marriage flies in the face of what Oaks said here. Oaks ignores mention of Loving v. Virginia: "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

The Oaks speech is very disturbing to me.
topic image
Did Dallin Oaks Ever Retract This Or Explain It?
Thursday, Sep 30, 2010, at 09:10 AM
Original Author(s): Joseph
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On August 16, 1985, Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:
"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?"
("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)

For those not familiar with Hoffman and the forged documents this link may help.

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/track...

Odd that The Lord's Anointed did not detect the forgeries but Jerald Tanner, one of the main Anti-Mormon researchers around was the one raising doubts and questions. At the time Hoffman was not happy with Jerald over this.
topic image
Elder Oaks: Gay Rights Will Take Away Religous Freedom
Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011, at 09:11 AM
Original Author(s): Lloyd Dobler
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
See: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...
"Along with many others, I see a serious threat to the freedom of religion in the current assertion of a 'civil right' of homosexuals to be free from religious preaching against their relationships. Religious leaders of various denominations affirm and preach that sexual relations should only occur between a man and a woman joined together in marriage. One would think that the preaching of such a doctrinal belief would be protected by the constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion, to say nothing of the guarantee of free speech. However, we are beginning to see worldwide indications that this may not be so."
I think what is really pissing Oaks of is the trend of religion becoming more and more marginalized, not because of some sort of reverse discrimination but because religion in general and mormonism specifically is failing to effectively compete in the public marketplace.

From the article:

In his speech, Elder Oaks cited a number of religiously diverse examples and leaders in highlighting his four points on preserving religious freedom:

Religious teachings and religious organizations are valuable and important to a free society, thus "deserving of their special legal protection."

What he really means is MORE valuable and important than other organizations in society. Sorry dude, its not MORE anyMORE.What he is also saying is goddamnit I don't want to be within 1 million miles of our tax status being messed with!

Religious freedom "undergirds the origin and existence of this country and is the dominating civil liberty."

A nod to the old, "everything will fall apart in society if we abandon religion", fear tactic. And since when is religious freedom the dominating civil liberty?

The constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion "is weakening in its effects and in public esteem."

What he is really saying is that less and less people are listening to religious leaders and even...gasp....mormon apostles. He is being tricky because it really is not free exercise of religion that is weakening but the practice of religion itself that is weakening.

Such a weakening can be attributed "to the ascendancy of moral relativism."

Such weakening of religion (not his red herring religious freedom) is attributed not to moral relativisim but to the morality of people putting people ahead of religious institutions. Yeah Oaks, less and less you your members are going to be selling out their own family members and friends for you and your 14 buddies in the future, you better get used to it dude.
topic image
Dallin Oaks Will Be The Ruin Of This Church
Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011, at 09:11 AM
Original Author(s): Lostandfound
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
This is a touchy issue. The LDS Church is what lawyers call a "deep pocket" and they will likely need protection from being sued.

There have been several instances where the Church has been in trouble for civil rights violations. The first I recall was the polagamy issue. The Federal Government was sending Marshalls to arrest and jail men who practiced this form of marriage.

The result was the 1890 Manifesto by President Willford Woodruff which ended the open practice of polygamy.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Man...

Another case was the Church policy that black men could not hold the priesthood, marry in the temple or hold other church callings (except for boy scout leader). Their were threats by the Federal Government under President Jimmy Carter to pull the accreditation of BYU because of open and active discrimmination against black students and not admitting qualified black students who had applied to the university.

Some college football teams refused to play against BYU. This, coupled with the growing population of Black Mormons in Brazil ultimately led to a "revelation" by President Spencer W. Kimball which ended the policy of discrimmination against black males.

I would note that the Doctrine and Covenants states that those who are not married for time and all of eternity will be servants to those who are married in the next life.

Because blacks were not allowed to married for time and all eternity, it ensured that they would be servants in the eternities. There was a very strong element of slavery to the church's policy.

So, now we have the Civil Rights issue of the century - rights for gay and lesbian people. The LDS Church wants to maintain status quo:
  • No marriages for gay and lesbian members
  • No adoption services
  • No Church employment
  • No Temple admittance
  • No admittance to BYU or other church run schools
  • No trespassing on church-owned property (arrests of 2 gay men found on church property, and the church owns a lot of property)
  • No enforcement of ethical treatment for gay and lesbian patients who patronize LDS owned hospitals. (I once heard someone day that "gays are pretty much worthless and they should all be gased" right at LDS Hospital.)
  • No leasing, renting or selling of housing to gay or lesbian persons
  • No protections against hate crimes or hate speech if the person who is making the threats is doing so for "religion".
Elder Oaks, I'm sorry. If the Church keeps getting sued, it is probably not a "Freedom of Religion" issue. It is much more likely that we are actively and openly discrimminating against a specific group of people who have long endured our displeasure. Civil Laws will have to be crafted to protect these citizens.

I think that the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ would teach good citizenship and obedience to Civil Law. The rights of others would be respected and protected under the Constitution of the United States. Of course, the Church could grant or refuse marriage and other ordinances according to worthiness set by Church standards, and employ only those members who met church standards, but that would be the limit! The Church couldn't take BYU transcripts from students who had earned credits. The Church couldn't refuse medical services in Church owned hospitals. The Church couldn't actively and openly promote hostility, hate and discrimmination against gay and lesbian persons without being SUED. That isn't freedom of religion. That isn't freedom of speech. That isn't protected by our constitution.

Ultimately, I fear that Dallin Oaks will be the ruin of this Church. He is causing such bad PR for the Church and for Salt Lake City. He doesn't know how to work diplomatically with the gay and lesbian community and so he is resorting to demands for absolute legal protection under "freedom of religion". Won't work.
topic image
I Really Wish Someone Would Testify A Counter Argument To Congress
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011, at 09:11 AM
Original Author(s): Jesus Smith
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I really wish someone would testify a counter argument to Congress. Something akin to....

The NIH, one of many worldwide scientific institutes that promotes medical research, funds their National Cancer Institute (NCI) to the tune of $5B a year. http://www.aacr.org/home/public--medi...

Imagine if we were to double their budget...

Very well thought out estimates put LDSinc's annual tithing income in the range of $5-10B with $8B as a good figure. (simply take 1million families x median income x 10% and you'll agree.)

So what if the $8B tithing were diverted to cancer research? That would more than double the annual budget. What strides could science make with twice the money?

Science has shown huge returns on investment over the past century. Life expectancy has nearly doubled. Quality of life for the healthy is astronomically better in nearly every nation. Even the environment is making a come back.

What has LDSinc done to improve lives? They build buildings. They plan and construct malls, ranches, church indoctrination centers, and entertainment businesses. They get unpaid janitors. They've healed...no one, that science wasn't already healing. Ok, they've donated $328M over the past 25 years to helping humanitarian causes. ( http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/facts-and-stats ) That's roughly $1.00 per current listed member per year. One dollar.

LDSinc is hurting humanity, reaping a wind-fall of cash from unwitting believers and returning a dollar each back to society.

Parasites.
topic image
Mr. Oaks Goes To Washington
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011, at 09:12 AM
Original Author(s): Elguapo
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Elder Oaks just testified before the Senate finance committee about the importance of tax exemption for charitable donations. You can see the transcript of his comments here: http://finance.senate.gov/imo/media/d...

I love how he introduced himself too: "I am Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." He even refers to himself with the silly title and middle initial. It all just sounds so self-important.

I didn't hear the whole proceeding, but it doesn't sound like religious organizations are being singled out in any way. None of the eleven options for tax reform even mention (so far as I could see) the possibility of revoking 501(c)(3) status for churches or any other entity. But Oaks was worried about it still, and mentioned it in his later comments.

The part of his testimony I thought interesting was this rationale for making churches tax exempt:
Today millions of these private “associations”–religious and charitable–are responsible for tens of millions of jobs and innumerable services that benefit our citizens at every level. I speak of private educational institutions, hospitals, social welfare agencies, and innumerable other organizations ministering to the needs of children, youth, the aged, the poor, and citizens generally. The financial well-being of this private sector is dependent upon private contributions that qualify for the charitable deduction. And the impact these private institutions have on those they serve is magnified by the millions of volunteers motivated by the ideals they pursue.

For example, in the aftermath of Katrina and the other 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aided the cleanup efforts with almost 3,000 tons of emergency supplies, over $13 million in cash and use of heavy equipment, and its members gave more than 42,000 man-days of service. Other non-profit organizations provided over $3.5 billion in cash and in-kind donations to help with relief efforts.
It seems to me that religion is riding on the coattails of the Red Cross and other truly charitable institutions here. I don't know how much tithing revenue the Mormon church receives each year in the U.S., but it must be in the billions. That means hundreds of millions annually in tax subsidies. And we're justifying that by saying we gave $13 million back? Are there any critical thinkers left in government?
topic image
Oaks Tells BYU Graduates: "You Have A Mark Upon You."
Friday, May 4, 2012, at 09:12 AM
Original Author(s): Fetal Deity
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
But, to a lot of non-Mormons out there (like potential employers and future colleagues), that isn't necessarily a positive. (Possible synonyms for "mark" could include: blemish, blot, blotch, pock, scar, smudge, splotch, spot, stain.)

More BYU Commencement gems:

"[Oaks recognized] the challenging times facing graduates – wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters, recession and the prospect of further financial disaster, values and standards being denied or cast aside as more people call evil good, and selfishness replacing service...." [In other words, the world is no different today than it was 4,500 years ago when a worldwide flood and dinosaurs threatened to extinguish humanity!]

"' ...BYU graduates and other Saints suffer worldly criticism and perhaps even persecution....'" [And since Mormons are untouched by imperfection, these criticisms and persecutions are simply proof of the wicked world's blind hatred towards them and that Mormons are right and everyone else is evil and wrong.]

"Elder Oaks told students to emulate Brigham Young's inclusive attitude toward his fellowmen." [In this sense, the meaning of the word "inclusive" would be better expressed as "non-inclusive."]

Quoting Brigham Young: "'"Our religion is adapted to the capacity of the whole human family. It does not send a portion of the people to howl in torment for ever and ever ...."'" [Unless you have the audacity to question, abandon and then speak against Mormonism!]

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles...
topic image
Dallin Oaks On Why A Federal Marriage Amendment Is A Bad Idea
Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Mujun
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Last week, Senator Orrin Hatch broke ranks with a couple of tribes to which he belongs and said in an interview that he believes laws governing marriage should be left in the hands of the states. While I disagree with him in terms of what he thinks those laws should ultimately be, I respect and applaud his statement that the federal government should not be dictating such things to the states, especially in the form of a constitutional amendment.

The Senator was only following The Brethren, ... that is to say he was following what they had said up until 2004 when the church came out and stated its endorsement of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Up until that point, the church had been talking out of the other side of its mouth.

In a 1992 Ensign article, Constitutional scholar, former law professor, former Utah Supreme Court Justice and (since 1984) LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks explained that one of the key, inspired points of the US Constitution was the balance of powers between the federal government and the states.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/02/the...

If you scroll down to the heading "Inspiration," then look at the last paragraph of Item 3, you will read:
"The particular powers that are reserved to the states are part of the inspiration. For example, the power to make laws on personal relationships is reserved to the states. Thus, laws of marriage and family rights and duties are state laws. This would have been changed by the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.). When the First Presidency opposed the E.R.A., they cited the way it would have changed various legal rules having to do with the family, a result they characterized as "a moral rather than a legal issue." I would add my belief that the most fundamental legal and political objection to the proposed E.R.A. was that it would effect a significant reallocation of law-making power from the states to the federal government."
Of course, Oaks was just restating an argument that the church had already asserted in the March 1980 Ensign when it gave various, detailed arguments against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1980/03/the...
"14. Would the ERA further erode the constitutional division of powers? It would transfer from states to the federal government much of the power to deal with domestic relations, and further shift much law-making authority from locally elected legislators to nonelected federal judges."
I've raised this point with some of the faithful. The obvious contradiction and hypocrisy don't register. The few who were willing to listen responded with something along the lines of "Well, they couldn't foresee at that time what kind of threat would emerge with all of these evil gay people wanting to have committed relationships and equal rights."

Fifteen men sustained as prophets, seers and revelators and none of them saw marriage equality coming as an issue just a decade or so in advance?
topic image
Dallin Oaks: "Disadvantages For Children Raised By Couples Of The Same Gender"
Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Mormon leaders once again attack gays and lesbians.

Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, took on a number of hot-button issues in a speech centered around the need to protect vulnerable children. He condemned abuse and neglect and called abortion "a great evil." He urged parents and caregivers to respond to children who struggle, including with same-sex attraction, with "loving understanding, not bullying or ostracism."

He also cautioned that it should be assumed that kids raised by same-sex couples or unwed mothers will be at a disadvantage.

"Children are also victimized by marriages that do not occur," Oaks said.

Evidence, he added, indicates that children are at a "significant disadvantage" when raised by single or unmarried parents. "We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender."

How sad that the LDS leadership must continually find ways to attack gay and lesbian families and individuals. More enlightened leaders understand that these are loving parents who provide wonderful, safe, secure homes for many, many children in need of love and stability.

Additionally, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of parents in America are gay with children from a previous marriage, adoption or various methods. The vast majority know that many in society, like the LDS leadership, are hyper critical of their parenting and therefore strive to be the most competent parents possible.

If these children are "disadvantaged" it is only because of the actions and attitudes of individuals, leaders and organizations who have treated these families and less than other families in America. Many of the 1,000+ government benefits of "civil marriage" would help these families and their children.

It's time we start supporting each other in America and stop attacking and dividing. Love is what these children and their parents need. Not derision and discrimination.
topic image
Did Oaks "Lie For The Lord" During Conference?
Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012, at 09:13 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/...
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the church, spoke about family, the value of life, and the importance of loving everyone - all worthy subjects. He also spoke about bullying and the "permanent" psychological damage that bullying can cause children by making them feel "worthless, unloved, or unwanted."

Then, in what seemed an about-face, Oaks changed themes. After describing a long list of supposed social ills, he said that church members should "assume" that "children raised by parents of the same gender" are "disadvantaged" and "victimized" by this circumstance. He did not bother to properly support his claim, apart from vague references to an unnamed "scholar" or a supposed "New York Times article."
I agree with Oaks. Children raised by same gender parents will be disadvantaged, even victimized, by the societal attitude fostered by the LDS Church against same gender couples and parents. What's the solution, then, Oaks? Maybe the LDS Church could do a 180 and become an agent for helping to foster the enlightenment going on in the attitudes towards homosexuality. Tolerance and acceptance? Shouldn't those be some of the Christian virtues that the LDS Church embraces and promotes?

Homosexuality has occurred in mankind for as long as there has been a recorded history. It occurs in other sexual species. The closed-mindedness that encourages and teaches intolerance of it is crumbling.

As with the ban on the priesthood being extended to blacks, the general population's morality has outdistanced LDS thinking regarding homosexuality considerably. I suspect before 2020 a 'revelation'. The excoriation of homosexuals will then be recharacterized by Mopologists as the 'talking as men' that dates back all the way to the OT. But Pres News Room will take the vague dive--'we don't know why god kept religious inclusion and privileges from homosexuals previously, but that is now in the past.'
topic image
Unholy Oaks' Smoke! What The Mormon Church Knew And When It Knew It: Murdering The Truth In The Mark Hofmann Bombing Case
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon Church did its double-damndest to obstruct justice and prevent law enforcement investigators from doing their job in following the trail on the Mark Hofmann scandal--a trail that led embarrassingly back to the LDS Church itself.

In a private meeting with Mormon apostle Dallin Oaks in 1985 shortly after the Hofmann bombings (followed by a second conversation with Oaks and, finally, in discussions with both Oaks and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell), I learned from Oaks just how committed the Mormon Church was to not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help it Elohim. This evasive approach impeded both law enforcement authorities, LDS Church members and the public at large in any genuine effort they were attempting to get at the truth.

--Overview of the Mormon Church Cover-up on the Hofmann Bombings

The fact that is clear, however, is that the Mormon Church--in private admissions by its own leaders--deliberately blocked examination by law enforcement investigators of evidence in possession of the LDS Church that could have potentially aided in getting to the bottom of the Hofmann case and could have helped bring to light important matters in a much more expeditious fashion.

Unfortunately, the Mormon Church was more interested in doing what was necessary to cover its backside, rather than assisting when it was necessary in uncovering the truth.

--A Flubbed Opportunity for High Mormon Leaders to Come Clean on the Hofmann Case

In meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, I provided them a prepared list of written questions (requeested by Maxwell) that I wanted and expected them to answer honestly (silly me). One of those questions was: "why [is] the Church . . . not more open with its own historical documents, specifically as relating to the refusal of the Church to acknowledge the existence of, or share with, law enforcement authorities the McLellin papers during the Hofmann investigation."

Note: By way of background on that question, William E. McLellin was, as described by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith in their book, 'The Mormon Murders,' 'an early Apostle and close associate of Joseph Smith's who left the Church in 1836 to become one of its bitterest enemies. It had long been rumored,' wrote Naifeh and Smith, 'that McLellin, who kept the minutes at early meetings of the Twelve, had taken with him a pirate's chest full of papers, letters and journals, all of it incriminating, with which to destroy the Church. Over the years, tantalizing clues had turned up. But neither the Collection itself, nor any part of it, had ever surfaced.' (p. 164)

This collection, contrary to Mark Hofmann's claims, was eventually determined not to exist.

However, the Church did have in its possession certain McLellin papers, as admitted by Richard E. Turley, Jr., in his Oaks-sanctioned book, 'Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case' (p. 303). It was these papers that were the subject of my conversation with Oaks and Maxwell.

--Oaks' Clean Desk, Sealed Lips and Lame Excuses

In the fall of 1985, a few days after the Hofmann bombings, I accompanied a reporter from 'The Arizona Republic,' Chuck Kelly, to Salt Lake City to assist him in making contacts for covering the story.

While in Utah, we attempted to get an audience with Oaks. He refused to grant a newspaper interview but did agree to meet with me in his office. I rememberhow starkly clean the top of Oaks' desk was. In fact, there was nothing on it at all, except for a single newspaper article, the subject of which [Benson] could not read, since from where [he] sat, it was upside down. During our brief chat, Oaks was very cryptic in his comments, saying nothing of substance about the Hofmann scandal.

A few years later (after Hofmann had been bundled off to prison and prior to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in 1993), I again visited with Oaks in Salt Lake City. This time he was somewhat more willing to talk about the Hofmann affair--specifically, why the Church had not, even in the face of a law enforcement subpoena, produced the McLellin papers, which it had in its possession. The reasons, Oaks said, were two-fold:

First, the Church had privately determined that the McLellin papers it possessed were not relevant to the police investigation.

Second, there were no Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper, because the Church personnel authorized to do so were all on vacation.

Fast forward to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in September 1993.

Oaks told me that the Mormon Church had discovered in mid-March of 1986 that it possessed some McLellin papers--and so publicly announced. Maxwell concurred, adding that the McLellin papers had been 'stuffed away somewhere' and the Church did not realize it had them.

Oaks said that the McLellin papers held by the Church had been originally purchased by a representative sent by then-President Joseph F. Smith to Texas who, under orders to make sure they did not fall into "the wrong hands," acquired them for $50.00.

Oaks said McLellin (who became disaffected from the Church and eventually left it), had ransacked Joseph Smith's home while Smith was incarcerated and taken several of Smith's belongings. Oaks said the Church was concerned the papers McLellin had purloined would turn out to be very negative and reflect poorly on the Church. In sympathy with the Church's decision to buy these McLellin papers back, Oaks noted that President Joseph F. Smith's father, Hyrum, had been murdered by a mob and was thus naturally very sensitive to the potential negative contents of the papers.

Oaks told me that when it came to the Church's attention that it did, in fact, have McLellin papers in its possession, the discovery process was already underway, preliminary trial motions were ongoing and Hofmann was destined to plea-bargain in July.

Oaks said the Quorum of the Twelve debated when they should bring the McLellin papers forward. He said that if the Church had at that time revealed it was in possession of McLellin's papers, the press would have made "a big brouhaha about it."

Besides, he said, the McLellin papers the Church had were of no relevance to trial evidence being requested by the police (although Oaks admitted that no one in the Quorum had read them at the time or knew what was in them).

Oaks further defended the Church's refusal to provide its McLellin papers to law enforcement investigators on the grounds that the subpoena only requested McLellin documents that Hofmann, not the Church, was said to have possessed.

He said that the whole question of this portion of the investigation centered on whether Hofmann even had the McLellin papers. Oaks said that the Church made a conscious decision not to bring forward the McLellin papers during the preliminaries. He said the Church decided it would wait until those proceedings were over, then produce them before trial. That option was negated, he said, when Hofmann plea-bargained in July.

Oaks also argued that the Church only had between May and August of that year as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out. Since everyone was on vacation in August, he said, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

At any rate, he maintained, that interval was too narrow, so the Church decided to wait until Turley's book, 'Victims,' was published in 1992. Oaks said the book explained the proper context, the role of the Church and the facts on the ground regarding the McLellin papers. Following its publication, Oaks said the Church decided to release the McLellin documents it had in its possession.

Oaks claimed that at the time the Church brought them out, it realized (apparently, he suggested, for the first time) that they spoke positively and glowingly of the Church. He said they were written by McLellin in his earlier missionary years of Church service.

The consciences of Mormon Church leaders (if such consciences even exist) must be heavily burdened with guilt, knowing how much they are deceiving the public, the press and the pews through their misleading and misdirecting claims.

Once in awhile, however, they blurt out things in private that are probably weighing on their chests and which they feel they need to get out.

The trouble is, it then does get out--into the larger world, that is, and exposes them as deceptive brokers doing the dishonest bidding of their Mormon Cult.
topic image
Dallin Oaks' Unsuccessful Rewrite Of The Actual Mormon Church Teaching And Practice Of "Celestialized" Plural Marriage
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Talk about the unconscionable rewriting by Dallin H. "Hoax" of Mormon Church history for expediency's sake, this one really takes the Cult cake:

"[According to Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks], [t]he ancient order of marriage is the divinely sanctioned union, recognized by the state, between one man and one woman[.] [Quoting fellow LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard from a speech Ballard delivered in 2008 at Brigham Young University, Oaks declared]: 'We follow Jesus Christ by adhering to God's law of marriage, which is marriage between one man and one woman. This commandment has been in place from the very beginning.' . . . [see Oaks, 'Religious Freedom,' in 'Newsroom: The Official (Mormon) Church Resource for News Media, Opinion Leaders, and the Public,' transcript of Oaks' speech at BYU-Idaho, Rexbury, 13 October 2009)

Now, for the inconvenient caveats:

"EXCEPT, if you are the Patriarch Abraham, in which case you can be married to Sarah (who might be your half-sister), and to Sarah's slave girl, Hagar. The ancient order of marriage is pretty liberal when it comes to marrying siblings, cousins and slaves.

"EXCEPT, if you are Kind David or King Solomon, in which case you might have as many as 300 wives and 300 additional concubines, and copulating with and siring children by slaves was perfectly acceptible, both in the eyes of your citizens, and in the eyes of God, who sanctioned the practice.

"EXCEPT, if you are Jesus, and married to both Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth (and likely others) ([a] [t]eaching unique to early Mormon apostles, most notably Jedediah Grant, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young).

"EXCEPT, if you are Joseph Smith, in which case you can secretly practice polygamy to girls as young as 14, and also be married to women who are already married to other men. The ancient order of marriage demands, however, that you don't tell your first wife about all the others, because it makes her really mad. For that matter, it's best not to tell ANYONE except your good buddies, because then they might think twice about your apostolic calling.

"EXCEPT, if you are Brigham Young, in which case you can have as many as 55 wives married to you in this life, and untold numbers sealed to you in the life hereafter. It is also perfectly acceptable to divorce them if they don't take care of themselves, or expect you to take care of them.

"EXCEPT, if you are John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, George Cannon, Heber Kimball, and on and on and on, in which case you can obtain a new wife every time your last wife gets worn out.

"EXCEPT, if your wife died, and you're an LDS apostle, you can be sealed to another, much younger woman, so you'll get both of 'em in the eternities. (Dallin Oaks married June Dixon in 1952, who passed away in 1998. In 2000, he married Kristen McMain, both of whom are sealed to him for time and all eternity--contrary to the 'ancient order of marriage').

"But other than THAT, the Mormons are absolutely correct in defending the 'ancient order of marriage.'"

"Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage," by "peter_mary," 16 October 2009, original emphasis)
topic image
Elder Oaks Takes A Swat At Those Whose Names Were Removed, Other Interesting Tidbits From 2013 Midwest Area Conference
Sunday, May 5, 2013, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Some of you may recall the infamous Easter 2009 post I shared in which Elder Oak told members in IA, IL, MO, MN, KS, ND, and SD that the church would not help members in need during the economic downturn. See http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_da...

Well, four years later, Elder Oaks was back, thus time going after those who complained that the church was not providing their needs. No joke. Yesterday was the Midwest area conference 2013. This time they learned from past mistakes and scheduled this broadcast a month before Easter so the lack of emphasis on Jesus wasn't quite so startling as it was on Easter of 2009.

Elder Oaks started off by referring to a letter from someone who had requested their name be removed from the records of the church. This person had written that they were leaving because the church didn't seem to care about them and was not providing for their needs. Elder Oaks then compared this person to one of five thousand that Jesus fed, many of whom stopped following Jesus after he stopped providing food, citing a scripture from the New Testament to show that the church is there to provide for our eternal needs. Elder Oaks basically suggested that people should stop their complaining and realize that the church serves up eternal blessings. The church is not necessarily there for our present needs.

This oversimplification and apparent demonization of those who have left the church was a piling on after Sister Reeves, 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, told members that she had read a study that proved statistically that the primary reason return missionaries left the church was due to immorality and failure to read their scriptures on a daily basis. LOL. This same sister also admitted that she did not have a bad thought come into her head until about fifteen years ago, when she briefly entertained dirty thoughts at a grocery checkout line after seeing other women pick up sleazy magazines in the line and added them with to their groceries.
topic image
You Can't Listen To A Prophet Who Buys False Documents
Monday, Aug 19, 2013, at 09:15 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
In any case, it is interesting to note that on August 16, 1985, the Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/track...

"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?" ("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)

Dallin Oaks' conjecture concerning the real meaning of the word "salamander" certainly shows the lengths Mormon apologists will go to try and explain away anything that challenges Mormonism. Oaks would have us believe that the news media suppressed the true meaning of the word. Actually, the news media were claiming that the context of the letter showed that the "salamander" mentioned there referred to one of the "elemental spirits" of magic.

The confession of Mark Hofmann makes it clear that Oaks was way off base and that the news media were right all along. The reader will remember that when he was speaking of the word "salamander," Hofmann said: "At the time I chose it only because it was commonly used in folk magic. I didn't realize until later all the implications other people would associate with it as far as being able to dwell in fire." (Hofmann's Confession, page 441)
topic image
Dallin Oaks In June Ensign: Quit Hanging Out And Start Dating
Thursday, May 25, 2006, at 08:57 AM
Original Author(s): Lunar Quaker
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
We all knew it was coming. The church's growth is being threatened by young single adults who are taking longer and longer to get married. And people aren't having as many kids as they used to. The powers that be are pulling out the big guns now.

The June ensign just came to our house. I perused it, and there is some big talk about "twenty-something Peter Pans" who don't want to grow up. Dallin Oaks is saying that twenty-somethings need to quit "hanging out" and start DATING! Here are Dallin's reasons that dating has become an "endangered species":
1. The cultural tides in our world run strongly against commitment in family relationships...Divorce has been made legally easy, and childbearing has become unpopular.

2. The leveling effect of the women's movement has contributed to discourage dating. As women's options have increased and some women have become more aggressive, some men have become reluctant to take traditional male initiatives, such as asking for dates, lest they be thought to qualify for the dreaded label "male chauvinist."

3. Hanging out is glamorized on TV programs about singles.

4. The meaning and significance of a "date" has changed in such a way as to price dating out of the market... a date has to be an expensive production.

5. For many years, the church has counseled people not to date before age 16. Perhaps some young adults, especially men, have carried that wise counsel to excess and determined not to date before 26 or maybe even 36.
Some classic quotes from the article:
Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It's marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it.

My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football. Marriage is not a group activity--at least, not until the children come along in goodly numbers.
Check out this counsel to young single women:
If you are just marking time waiting for a marriage prospect, stop waiting. You may never have the opportunity for a suitable marriage in this life, so stop waiting and start moving. Prepare yourself for life--even a single life--by education, experience, and planning. Don't wait for happiness to be thrust upon you. Seek it out in service and learning. Make a life for yourself. And trust in the Lord.
Well, folks, needless to say, I'm speechless. I was hoping that the church had given up on this kind of talk long ago. Apparently not. Seriously, this article infuriated me. So many kids get into trouble because of all this ridiculous marriage and kids talk that the GAs are dishing out.

Link to Article: http://www.lds.org/broadcast/ces/Oaks...
topic image
Dallin Oaks: "Don't Write Me A Letter"
Monday, May 29, 2006, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Shane Ak
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
There is something else in the “Dating Versus Hanging Out” Ensign article that got my attention. Oaks went off on how members shouldn’t write him letters about his talks. He said, “I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility.”

He offered as an example the following story of a man that once wrote him a letter:

“He explained that he had been a machine gunner during the Korean War. During a frontal assault, hi machine gun mowed down scores of enemy infantry. Their bodies were piled so high in front of his gun that he and his men had to push them away in order to maintain their field of fire. He had killed a hundred, he said, and now he must be going to hell because I had spoken of the Lord’s commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”

What an ass! This guy believes that Oaks speaks for God. He has been living with that traumatic event probably for decades and Oaks probably said some strong words that made this guy question his standing before God.

Oaks seems to think that he is not responsible for what he says. He has the “authority” to tell people how to live and what to think but takes no responsibility for how his words affect his followers.

His comments in this talk also confirm what I have heard ? that letters to the Apostles or First Presidency are, as a matter of policy, forwarded to the writer’s Bishop or Stake President so they can address the questions. I’m sorry, but can anyone but Oaks clarify a talk given by Oaks? If I have a question regarding Hinckley’s “I don’t know” statements wouldn’t an answer by anyone other than Hinckley only be their opinion?

Who declares and clarifies doctrine in this church? It appears that nobody does. Bishops and Stake Presidents can’t speak for the church. Any answer they give is merely their opinion. Not to mention that 100 Bishops would probably give 100 different answers!

I guess that’s probably why they do it that way now ? so nobody can pin them down to any doctrinal position.

This is just another example of church leaders telling the members what they really think about them ? they could care less. Members should be content to be sheep, fodder, pawns. They are to obey and not ask questions. Their questions and feelings are not important. Members are not important.
topic image
Oaks Lays Blame At Women's Feet In Ensign Article
Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Gemini
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I read Oak's article about dating vs hanging out.

If women weren't so doggone independent and aggressive due to the women's movement, then men wouldn't be afraid to ask them out on dates. Not only that, but by women letting men hang out and *gasp* feeding them (he called it subsidizing freeloaders) the the men won't "grow up" and start pairing off instead of just hangin out. Oh, and get this...he even says that "hanging out" is glamorized on TV and that contributes to the reason men don't ask women out on dates.

Also, because men are so darned sensitive, if we women aren't kind when we turn down a date, it might hurt the man's feelings so much he won't ask anyone else out...hear that men...you are just a bunch of wussies who can't handle rejection! He also said that women should look for inexpensive and simple dates and not expect expensive ones and certainly not dates that could lead to relationships, at least not until several dates later. And, don't go out on the internet to look, either, you losers.

The fact of the matter is society has changed. Men and women are waiting to get their education and started in their careers before saddling themselves with spouses and children. I think Oak's message (subliminal) is that the longer these young people wait to get hitched, the more prone they are to
have pre-marital sex which will lead to
no temple marriage which might lead to
having fewer children which might lead to
becoming more liberal in their thinking which might lead to
leaving the church thus not paying money to the corporation.
It almost sounds like the church is getting desperate. They can't bring in converts so they have to depend on home growing the numbers in the churcha and it just ain't happenin'.

There were a total of 8 articles that directly or indirectly talked about marriage, dating or keeping the family together. It must certainly be a problem for them to harp on it so hard.
topic image
Elder Dallin H. Oaks On The Absolute Power Of The Gift Of Discernment
Friday, Jul 7, 2006, at 08:58 AM
Original Author(s): Silence Dogood
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
"In order to perform their personal ministries, Church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love. In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious."
Dallin H. Oaks, "Recent Events Involving Church History and Forged Documents," Ensign, Oct. 1987, 63.

This quote is part of a talk delivered by Oaks, attempting to explain how the Church got fooled by Mark Hofmann, who cost the Church thousands of dollars and the lives of two of its members.
topic image
Oaks Explains Why His Lies Aren't Lies - Teaches Future Church Leaders The True Order Of Lying
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2006, at 08:59 AM
Original Author(s): Lies And Damn Lies
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Today I read for the first time this speech given in 1993 by Dallin Oaks to BYU laws students and faculty. I suggest you read the entire speech since I have taken some of his remarks out of context below.

This speech combined with Packer's infamous "Not all things that are true are useful" speech goes a long way toward explaining the justification for the institutional lying that the church has engaged in from the beginning.

This speech should rightfully be titled "The True Order of Lying--How to lie without really lying", by Dallin Oaks

http://lds-mormon.com/oakslying.shtml

Out-of-context Highlights:

To be “true” includes appearing to be what we really are. To speak the truth is to give an accurate account of the facts.

A lie is most effective when it can travel incognito in good company or when it can be so intermarried with the truth that we cannot determine its lineage.

The lies of public officials may be the most damaging lies in terms of the number of people that they mislead and the consequences of the deception.

The lies of public officials, like the lies of religious leaders, are also extremely damaging in the way they degrade the moral tone of the entire community. Officials' lies and clergymen's lies are especially damaging to impressionable young people.

?.Scriptural instructions establish that the obligation to tell the truth does not require one to tell everything he or she knows in all circumstances.

Indeed, we may have a positive duty to keep many things secret or confidential.

When the truth is constrained by other obligations, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a reason.

A lie is also furthered when one remains silent in a circumstance where he or she has a duty to speak and disclose. In other words, a person lies by concealing when he or she has a duty to reveal. Some relationships and some circumstances create such a duty.

?.When there is no duty to reveal all and when one has not made an affirmative statement implying that all has been revealed, it is simply incorrect to equate silence with lying.

?.There are many sacred things that we do not discuss.

There are things we simply should not discuss or reveal. Sometimes we are silent out of loyalty to those we love. Sometimes we are silent because the Lord has confided in us, and we know we are not appointed to be the means of disseminating the knowledge to others. Sometimes there are other reasons.

To tell the truth is a general religious obligation, whether we are sworn or not.

In contrast to the obligation to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, the obligation to “tell the whole truth” is subject to an important qualification. In a judicial proceeding, the sworn duty to tell the whole truth is confined to matters relevant to the proceeding. It does not extend to other subjects. The duty to tell the whole truth is also limited by special legal protections, such as the privilege against self-incrimination.

The difficult question is whether we are morally responsible to tell the whole truth. When we have a duty to disclose, we are morally responsible to do so. Where there is no duty to disclose, we have two alternatives. We may be free to disclose if we choose to do so, but there will be circumstances where commandments, covenants, or professional obligations require us to remain silent.
topic image
Will Lie For Food: Dallin H. Oaks Tells Two Different Stories About Farms
Friday, Oct 20, 2006, at 09:00 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
INTRODUCTION

Mormon apostles deceptively say one thing in public--and quite another in private.

Dallin H. Oaks is a modern-day Exhibit A of that morally-depleted reality.

Examine, for example, what Oaks has said behind closed doors about FARMS (in a conversation he assumed would never be reported).

Then, contrast Oaks' privately-expressed criticisms of FARMS with what he subsequently uttered about FARMS in a patently disingenuous display of situational schmoozing--expressed, no less, at a banquet hosted by FARMS, where Oaks, as the featured speaker, was being both worshipped and fed. (No wonder he was in the mood to be so generous from the podium, despite what he felt about FARMS in private). _____

PRAISING FARMS ON A FULL STOMACH--AND A FULL EGO

On October 29, 1993, at the FARMS banquet in question held in Provo, Utah, Oaks concluded his after-dinner speech, "The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," with this glowing tribute to FARMS apologists:

"Brothers and sisters, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith and revelation--for what you are doing. God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The work that you do is important, it is well-known and it is appreciated.

"I testify of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, whose Church this is. I invoke his blessings upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=3... _____

DISS AND TELL: CRITICIZING FARMS IN PRIVATE

Contrast Oaks' public praise of FARMS with his behind-the-scenes digs at FARMS just a few weeks earlier.

In a personal, face-to-face conversation between Steve Benson, Oaks and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell on September 9, 1993, in Maxwell's Salt private Salt Lake City Church office, Oaks told Benson that FARMS was guilty of overdoing its apologetics in behalf of the Book of Mormon:

" . . . Oaks acknowledged that FARMS sometimes gets 'hyperactive' in trying to prove that The Book of Mormon is true. He said he becomes concerned when FARMS 'stops making shields and starts turning out swords,' because, he said, 'you cannot prove the Book of Mormon out of the realm of faith.' Accepting the Book of Mormon, Oaks said, was ultimately a matter of faith."

http://twincentral.com/site/pages/art..., Part 9 _____

CONCLUSION

Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks speaks with forked tongue on FARMS.

In closed-door conversation, Oaks jabs Mormonism's premier group of apologetic water carriers being for too strenuous in its defense of Book of Mormon historicity.

Invited to speak before them at a banquet in his honor, however, Oaks praises FARMS for what it is doing in defense of the Book of Mormon--and then caps it off by blessing them for it in the name of God.

In normal converstation among honest adults, the appropriate term for this kind of schizoid behavior on Oaks' part is: "Lying Hypocrite."

In Mormon circles, it's called "Business As Usual."
topic image
Elder Oaks To BYU-Idaho Women: Your Destiny Is To Be A Wife And A Mother In Zion
Thursday, Nov 16, 2006, at 09:00 AM
Original Author(s): From Ohio
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On Nov 7, 2006, Elder Dallin Oaks and his wife spoke at the Brigham Young University?Idaho Devotional.

This talk is a gem.

http://www.byui.edu/Presentations/Tra...

Here is a few highlights:

ELDER OAKS ON WHEN THE SAINTS WILL RETURN TO MISSOURI:
"My second subject of wisdom concerns looking beyond the mark. In the Book of Mormon the Prophet Jacob described a people who “despised the words of plainness, . . . and sought for things . . . they could not understand” (Jacob 4:14). He said this caused them to fall because when persons are “looking beyond the mark,” God takes away plainness and gives them what they sought?things they cannot understand.

We see this today. For example, some persons write General Authorities asking when we will be returning to Missouri or how we should plan to build up the New Jerusalem. Others want to know details about the Celestial Kingdom, such as the position of a person who lives a good life but never ever marries.

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. What I do know is that persons worrying about such things are probably neglecting to seek a firmer understanding and a better practice of the basic principles of the gospel that have been given to them with words of plainness by the scriptures and by the servants of the Lord."
ELDER OAKS ON THE ROLE OF WOMEN:
"Sisters, don’t fall for the worldly urging that women should emulate men in various masculine characteristics. That is not what the Lord created you to do. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that women should not be doctors or lawyers or any particular occupation that fits their circumstances. To use lawyering as an example, what I am saying is that women should not attempt to be manly lawyers. Nor should women emulate the worldly ways of womanhood. Your destiny is to be a wife and a mother in Zion, not a model and a streetwalker in Babylon."
SISTER OAKS ON HER FIRST MONTHS OF MARRIAGE TO ELDER OAKS
"When we first married, I was working as a consultant for a publishing house based in Boston. I never cooked except once a year. Poor Elder Oaks. The first few months we were married I burned everything, even grilled cheese sandwiches. I knew very little about housework; I didn’t even know how to match socks. Elder Oaks wears only two colors. black and blue. I called my married sister in tears and asked how to sort them and she told me to go stand by the window."
topic image
Off With His Baker's-Capped Head! Dallin Oaks In Flagrant Violation Of Official LDS Doctrine
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2007, at 09:01 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On September 8, 1998, Mormon Church president, prophet, seer and all-around present-day designated revelator/doctrinal determinator Gordon B. Hinckley declared to the world on the "Larry King Live" show that polygamy was a big, fat gospel and illegal no-no:

"I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal."

http://www.onlineutah.com/polygamyhin...

Yet, Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, in open defiance of his Ultimate Leader's condemnation of this heinous practice, solemnly told a BYU devotional audience on January 29, 2002, in a sermon entitled "Timing," that he not only endorsed polygamy but that he was, in fact, himself a temple-practicing, eternal lifer two-wifer:

"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."

http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=viewandamp;a=1...

Very well, then, Mr. Oaks.

Do you have any final words as you are given your last wish for a cup of lime-green Jello, sprinkled with carrots, before being summarily, excommunicatably executed by secret temple throat slit?
topic image
Does Dallin Oaks Really Believe That Moses Produced The Pentateuch?
Monday, Jul 23, 2007, at 09:01 AM
Original Author(s): Westberkeleyflats
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Oaks in his PBS interview:
The book of Job is one of the books of the Old Testament. I do not know which prophet brought it forth. We know that Moses brought forth what’s called the Pentateuch, and it is part of the great religious tradition of Judaism and Christianity. The book of Job I cut quite a bit of slack in where that came from and how literal one takes it because its povenance is quite different than the provenance of the first five books of the Old Testament. The first five books of the Old Testament I give as an example like the New Testament. We know their provenance. Subject to a lot of questions we’d like to have answered, we know who wrote the book of Luke, and who wrote John, and Paul wrote his letters, and so on – a lot about their provenance. They originate with prophets; so did the Pentateuch, so did the Book of Mormon. They’re on the same footing.
Does Oaks really believe that Moses produced the Pentateuch or that it is known who wrote the, nonsynoptic, gospel of John? I thought it was the purpose of FARMS to keep apostles from making fools of themselves by, for example, making statements that anyone who's taken a freshman-level Old Testament or New Testament survey course would laugh at.

And to think that he expressed dismay with Packer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document...
topic image
Oaks Criticizes "Soccer" And Team Sports
Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007, at 09:02 AM
Original Author(s): Rollo Tomasi
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Here's another juicy one from GC, as reported in today's Trib:
Apostle Dallin H. Oaks urged Mormon parents to limit their children's extracurricular activities.

"Team sports and technology toys like video games and the Internet are already winning away the time of our children and youth," Oaks said. "Some young men and women are skipping church youth activities or are unavailable for family time in order to participate in soccer leagues or to pursue various entertainments."

They are "amusing themselves to death," he said, "spiritual death."
You'd think the Church would get the message that if youth activities were not so damned boring, the kids might show up. Instead of being "amused to death," they are "bored to death" at Church.
topic image
Oaks's Famous Salamander Speech
Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013, at 09:02 AM
Original Author(s): Huckleberry Hinckley
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
See: http://ldsces.org/general%20authority...

Cult leader mentality on full display:
"President Gordon B. Hinckley described another kind of lack of context in his talk at October conference two years ago. His example applies to all writings on Church history and biography:?

"'We have those critics who appear to wish to cull out of a vast panorama of information those items which demean and belittle some of the men and women of the past who worked so hard in laying the foundation of this great cause. They find readers of their works who seem to delight in picking up these tidbits, and in chewing them over and relishing them. In so doing they are savoring a pickle, rather than eating a delicious and satisfying dinner of several courses."

"'We recognize that our forebears were human. They doubtless made mistakes. . . . But the mistakes were minor, when compared with the marvelous work which they accomplished. To highlight the mistakes and gloss over the greater good is to draw a caricature. Caricatures are amusing, but they are often ugly and dishonest. A man may have a blemish on his cheek and still have a face of beauty and strength, but if the blemish is emphasized unduly in relation to his other features, the portrait is lacking in integrity. . . .?

"'I do not fear truth. I welcome it. But I wish all of my facts in their proper context, with emphasis on those elements which explain the great growth and power of this organization.' (In Conference Report, Oct. 1983, p. 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, p. 46.)?

"In short, readers need to be sensitive to the reality that historical and biographical facts can only contribute to understanding when they are communicated in context.?"
More:
"Satan can even use truth to promote his purposes. Truth can be used unrighteously. Facts, severed from their context, can convey an erroneous impression. Persons who make true statements out of an evil motive, such as those who seek to injure another, use the truth unrighteously. A person who preaches the truths of the gospel 'for the sake of riches and honor' (Alma 1:16) commits the sin of priestcraft. Persons who reveal truths that they hold under obligations of confidentiality, such as medical doctors, or lawyers, or bishops who have heard confessions, are guilty of wrongdoing. And a person who learns some embarrassing fact and threatens to reveal it unless he is paid off commits a crime we call blackmail, even if the threatened disclosure is true.?

"The fact that something is true is not always a justification for communicating it. While instructing the Corinthian Saints not to partake of meat offered in sacrifice to idols, the Apostle Paul explained,?

"'All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not' (1 Corinthians 10:23).?

"By the same token, some things that are true are not edifying or appropriate to communicate. Readers of history and biography should ponder that moral reality as part of their effort to understand the significance of what they read.?"
It's a classic "some things that are true are not useful."

Doubtless none of the Oakster's listeners bothered to realize that someone who witholds truth because it might not be "faith-promoting" are also engaging in deception.

This next paragraph is perfect from what comes later:
"As members of the Church, we have the gift of the Holy Ghost. If we will use our spiritual powers of discernment, we will not be misled by the lies and half-truths Satan will circulate in his attempts to deceive us and to thwart the work of God.?"
You can't help but laugh after reading the above paragraph and then reading these subsequent ones:
"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word salamander in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W. W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word salamander in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of salamander, which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s. That meaning, which is listed second in a current edition of Webster's New World Dictionary, is "a spirit supposed to live in fire" (2d College ed. 1982, s.v. "salamander"). Modern and ancient literature contain many examples of this usage.?

"A spirit that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the angel Moroni: a personage in the midst of a light, whose countenance was "truly like lightning" and whose overall appearance "was glorious beyond description" (Joseph Smith-History 1:32). As Joseph Smith wrote later, "The first sight [of this personage] was as though the house was filled with consuming fire" (History of the Church, 4:536). Since the letter purports only to be Martin Harris's interpretation of what he had heard about Joseph's experience, the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.?

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship with or membership in the Church? The media should make more complete disclosures, but Latter-day Saint readers should also be more sophisticated in their evaluation of what they read.?"
Discernment and the Holy Ghost (TM) sure must be powerful. They obviously helped Dallin out quite a bit to know that the Salamander Letter was a fradulent document created by Mark Hofmann before he endorsed it talking to mormon "educators."
topic image
Oaks: Spiritual Knowledge Is Different Than Regular Old Knowledge
Sunday, Apr 6, 2008, at 09:02 AM
Original Author(s): Lincoln
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On Saturday April 5th, 2008 conference, Oaks tries too hard to be an imposing presence and comes off as a bit statuesque with his trademark outstretched arms. This talk upset me because Oaks is again playing word games with the membership, and not really revealing any truths that God or an angel told him about.
"The idea that all truth is based on scientific evidence is simply untrue."
As if you have the right to talk about truth. You lied to the media about BKP's participation in the Toscano excommunication. You have attempted to hide the truth of Joseph Smith's polygamy by limiting the influence of historical books. Whatever Dallin. The only way you can talk about truth is if you respect the truth, which you do not. STFU.
"Things of God are spiritually discerned. That knowledge does not come from books or scientific proof."
Well if that's that case, I guess we can just toss the Book of Mormon right out the window. It's a book. So if books are all worthless at finding out about God, that means the Book of Mormon is worthless as well.)
"When we know spiritual truths by spiritual means, we can know with the same surety its truthfulness, as a scientist when discovering scientific evidence"
This is just pure BS, nothing much has to be said other than, are you freaking kidding me?
"We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it."
Here we go again, putting the cart before the horse. So its okay to tell a lie, because at the moment of telling the lie, God will tell you its true, right? How convoluted can this get?
"We encourage children to define themselves by their growing testimonies, not their athletic or academic achievements."
Well, I guess serving as President of BYU really reinforced his perception of quality education.
"Each of us has two distinct channels to God, the first is Governance which is obedience to the leadership, and the second is Personal Testimony which gives us our knowledge in his existence."
This tricky SOB is trying to tell me that the obedience to the leadership is just as valid a way to God as my own personal testimony. What a snow job.

Oaks makes a great play at trying to differentiate between differing "types of knowledge." He employs a subtle trick attempting to have the membership actually believe that the only way to learn knowledge about spiritual things is from the Spirit. Tricky Dallin. And who trademarks the Spirit? COJCOLDS, right? Nice. Just like last conference, I'm not buying into this shit.
topic image
Dallin Oaks - Like Boyd K. Packer - Instructs Members To Gain A Testimony By Giving It
Thursday, Apr 17, 2008, at 09:03 AM
Original Author(s): Sick Of It
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Mormonism is a religion of extremes, nothing is gray, there is just black and white conviction. In effect, it is never enough to “believe” in Mormonism, or to have “faith” in Mormonism, worthy members are expected to gain a certainty of “Knowledge” that Mormonism is true.

This “testimony” comes through a “personal revelation” from God via the Holy Ghost and is as serious as any testimony offered in a court of law - perhaps more so, because God’s commandment specifically states that “thou shalt not bear FALSE witness”. A testimony - a personal witnessing of fact - is serious stuff for True Bible Believers.

Yet, in the April 2008 General Conference, Dallin Oaks made the following statement:
“Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.”
So, in effect, eventually you GAIN a perfect knowledge from God by routinely pretending in public that you already HAVE that perfect knowledge! All this time you let everyone else continue to think that you’ve already HAD this “revelation” from God when in truth you simply wanted to GET a revelation.

What kind of perverse thinking is this? Yet, to the church, such “technical distinctions” between belief and knowledge don’t seem to matter - why? Because the Church is True anyway, so the end justifies such means.

Teaching people (often young people) to outright lie is obviously not a great issue to Mormon leaders. Soon the members don’t know the difference between lying and honesty anyway.

The message is always this: “Truth comes through feelings”. Just ask any con man about the notion, but remember, the “con” in con man stands for “confidence” . A con man is a person you would trust with your life, such men are totally believable, that’s why they are so effective. Christ said such “Con Men” or “false Prophets” will look just like innocent lambs, but they will eat you alive like the wolves they are inside! Instead, Christ said to analyze their “fruits”, that is; to analyze the outcome of their work. Anyone who teaches you to lie, must be a liar themselves.

And it isn’t just ONE leader, it’s the entire Mormon system. Oaks was only parroting Boyd K. Packer who put it in similar words: “The gaining of a testimony is in the bearing of it.” Clearly this is church policy and uncontested doctrine.

Lying to other members is an essential process, and who would know that better than the Leader/liars themselves.
topic image
What Oaks Said, Of Course, Was That He Is Married To Two Living Women At The Same Time
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008, at 09:03 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
One presently living in the Mormon hereafter and the other presently living on Earth.
"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer.

"Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married [in the LDS temple] Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."
(Dallin Oaks, "Timing," speech delivered at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 29 January 2002, http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader...)

According to official Mormon polygamous doctrine, when Oaks moves on to the Mormon hereafter, he will, at that point, be with both of his wives in time and eternal space in a threesome of wedded bliss forever.

Right now, however, he is married to them both at the same time while temporarily waiting to hook up with the two of them later in life (as in Mormon eternal life).

Get it? Of course you do. :)

This polygamous arrangement for Oaks, of course, is due to the Mormon Church's on-going doctrinal practice of performing secret polygamous marriages in its contemporary temples.

You know that, don't you? Of course you do. :)

Mormons believe in polygamy, they practice polygamy--and they lie about polygamy.

You know that, as well, but won't admit it, will you? Of course you won't. :)
topic image
Here Oaks Attempts To Defend His Anti-Criticsm Comments On The PBS Documentary, "The Mormons"
Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 09:04 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
In making his case for censorship, Oaks tells interview Helen Whitney the following (availabe on the LDS Church's own offical media site):

OAKS: "I also said something else that has excited people: that it’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true, because it diminishes their effectiveness as a servant of the Lord. One can work to correct them by some other means, but don’t go about saying that they misbehaved when they were a youngster or whatever. Well, of course, that sounds like religious censorship also.

"But not everything that’s true is useful. I am a lawyer, and I hear something from a client. It’s true, but I’ll be disciplined professionally if I share it because it’s part of the attorney-client privilege. There’s a husband-wife privilege, there’s a priest-penitent privilege, and so on. That’s an illustration of the fact that not everything that’s true is useful to be shared.

"In relation to history, I was speaking in that talk for the benefit of those that write history. In the course of writing history, I said that people ought to be careful in what they publish because not everything that’s true is useful. See a person in context; don’t depreciate their effectiveness in one area because they have some misbehavior in another area – especially from their youth. I think that’s the spirit of that. I think I’m not talking necessarily just about writing Mormon history; I’m talking about George Washington or any other case. If he had an affair with a girl when he was a teenager, I don’t need to read that when I’m trying to read a biography of the Founding Father of our nation.

WHITNEY: "Just one more question on that. In every church, in every person, there’s a shallow territory usually explained away through context. Many find information through the Internet – some would rather find things out about the Church history, doctrine through teachings, rather than the Internet, or other resources.

OAKS: "It’s an old problem, the extent to which official histories, whatever they are, or semi-official histories, get into things that are shadowy or less well-known or whatever. That’s an old problem in Mormonism – a feeling of members that they shouldn’t have been surprised by the fact that this or that happened, they should’ve been alerted to it. I have felt that throughout my life.

"There are several different elements of that. One element is that we’re emerging from a period of history writing within the Church [of] adoring history that doesn’t deal with anything that’s unfavorable, and we’re coming into a period of “warts and all” kind of history. Perhaps our writing of history is lagging behind the times, but I believe that there is purpose in all these things – there may have been a time when Church members could not have been as well prepared for that kind of historical writing as they may be now.

"On the other hand, there are constraints on trying to reveal everything. You don’t want to be getting into and creating doubts that didn’t exist in the first place. And what is plenty of history for one person is inadequate for another, and we have a large church, and that’s a big problem. And another problem is there are a lot of things that the Church has written about that the members haven’t read. And the Sunday School teacher that gives “Brother Jones” his understanding of Church history may be inadequately informed and may not reveal something which the Church has published. It’s in the history written for college or Institute students, sources written for quite mature students, but not every Sunday School teacher that introduces people to a history is familiar with that. And so there is no way to avoid this criticism. The best I can say is that we’re moving with the times, we’re getting more and more forthright, but we will never satisfy every complaint along that line and probably shouldn’t."

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/e...
topic image
The Day LDS Apostle Dallin H. Hoax/Oaks Reportedly Offered To Quit The Quorum Of The Twelve
Sunday, Dec 28, 2008, at 09:04 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Based on reliable information recently shared with me from an inside-the Mormon-beltway Utah source, LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks is said to have seriously considered resigning his position from the Quorum of the Twelve after it was publicly reported that he had disrespected a senior member of the Quorum--in this case, Boyd K. Packer.

My source informed that that they (the source) had heard directly that Oaks had to be talked out of resigning. Informed speculation on who may have convinced Oaks to stay on board rather than quit the Quorum suggests that then-First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley might have persuaded Oaks to remain seated. Indeed, it seems plausible that Hinckley--who had a well-known reputation and interest in positive media spin in behalf of the Mormon Church--might have concluded that having Oaks resign would have been a far worse public relations disaster than the PR problem created by the fact that Oaks had criticized his senior in the Quorum of the Twelve Packer.

Another well-informed source who knows Oaks personally told me that Oaks could well have offered his resignation but then decided, upon receipt of outside advice, to not abandon ship.

At the time of Oaks' reported offer of resignation from the Quorum of the Twelve Hinckley was, in fact and for all intents and purposes, running the Mormon Church--given that my grandfather and president of the Church Ezra Taft Benson was both mentally and physically incapacitated to the point where he was not able to administer the affairs of LDS Inc. (To be sure, Oaks had himself told me personally in private conversations that I had with him and fellow apostle Neal A. Maxwell in September 1993 that reports claiming ETB was at that point administering the affairs of the Church were not true, given my grandfather's failing health).

Oaks' reported offer to quit the Quorum came, it was said, in the midst of an attempted cover-up on his part designed to hide from public scrutiny the back-room details concerning the excommunication of Mormon intellectual Paul Toscano. Oaks' concerted effort to misrepresent the truth in that regard merely further exposes the intellectual and moral dishonesty of the LDS Church's highest leaders.

As history would have it, Toscano's outspoken support of independent thinking and his public willingness to defy Mormon authority ultimately led to Toscano's excommunication--followed by Oaks' effort to bury and lie about the details. Eventually, however, Oaks's cover was blown--at which point Oaks, according to my source, offered to resign from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a reversal of fortunes, efforts by Mormonism's highest leaders to discredit and discipline Toscano for his fiercely-individualistic views eventually led to the public disgracing of both Oaks and Packer--men who, behind the scenes, had sought to have Toscano muzzled and humiliated--and who spun public untruths about their efforts to do so.

Oaks' and Packer' plottings against Toscano were ultimately unmasked within the larger context of the Mormon Church's 1993 crackdown on dissidents (the so-called "September Six").

Oaks let loose with information about his participation in the efforts to club and then conceal the ecclesiastical mugging of Toscano in private conversations I had with Oaks and Maxwell, in Maxwell's downtown Salt Lake City Church office during September 1993.

In those conversations, Oaks confessed to the actual circumstances surrounding the excommunication of Toscano, then expected me to cover for him after he lied in public about what we had privately talked in this regard.

Yet, in an on-the-record interview with a newspaper reporter, Oaks blatantly misrepresented the truth about Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Toscano who, among other things, had caught the disapproving eye of Church apostles by suggesting that Church members need not perpetuate a Cult of Personality by standing up when General Authorities walked into the room.

Oaks privately owned up to me, however, that Packer had inappropriately injected himself into local Church action against Toscano--and, in the process, violated Church disciplinary procedures and opening the Church up to a possible lawsuit from Toscano.

Referring to Packer as the source of these headaches, a frustrated Oaks told me, "You can't stage manage a grizzly bear." When subsequently asked by the media about rumors that Packer had worked behind the scenes to get Toscano excommunicated, Oaks claimed ignorance and denied that Packer could ever do such a thing.

Had I remained silent in the face of these lies, I would have been an accessory to Oaks' falsifications. Oaks had demanded that I not talk about the conversations we had about the Toscano/Packer affair. Oaks had then prevaricated on the record about what we discussed. Finally, once the cat was out of the bag, Oaks had expected me to help cover his posterior by covering my mouth.

A question I posed to Oaks and Maxwell concerned reports that Packer had been behind the excommunication of Toscano.

To understand the context of the question, it is necessary to review events at the time, as reported in the press.

Packer's suspected entanglement in the excommunication of Toscano became a subject of extensive media coverage in the fall of 1993.

Toscano was excommunicated from the Mormon Church on September 19, 1993, "for writing and speaking publicly about church doctrine, feminism, the state of the faith's leadership and other issues."

At the stake high council disciplinary hearing that ultimately sealed his fate, attention was focused on a Sunstone symposium speech Toscano had recently delivered, entitled, "All Is Not Well in Zion: False Teachings of the True Church," in which Toscano was alleged to have made derogatory comments . . . about general authorities." ("LDS Apostle Denies Ordering Dissident's Excommunication," Associated Press, 11 October 1993, sec, D, p. 1ff; and "Six Intellectuals Disciplined for Apostasy," in "Sunstone" magazine, November 1993, p. 66).

With the Mormon Church having recently disciplined the infamous "September Six" for activities relating to scholarship and feminism, speculation was rampant that Packer had been "behind the Church's recent crackdown on dissidents."

That assessment proved to be well-founded.

Five months earlier, Packer had warned a gathering of LDS bureaucrats that some Mormons "influenced by social and political unrest are being caught up and led away" by "the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement, as well as the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals." ("Cartoonist Says Oaks Lied To Protect Fellow Apostle," Vern Anderson, by "Associated Press," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 12 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff; and Boyd K. Packer, "Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council," transcript, 18 May 1993, pp. 3, 4)

Packer, however, vehemently denied that he had been behind the banishment of Toscano.

Specifically, he insisted he had not directed Toscano's stake president, Kerry Heinz, to convene a disciplinary council against him.

While admitting to having met with Heinz to discuss Toscano, Packer assured the press, "We talked doctrine and philosophy. I absolutely did not instruct him to hold a disciplinary counsel and did not then, nor have I ever, directed any verdict. By Church policy, that is left entirely to local leaders. When he [Heinz] left, I did not know what he would do." ("Cracks in the Temple: Mormon Unity in Peril," Paul Brinkley-Rogers, in "The Arizona Republic," 10 October 1993, sec. A, p 1ff)

Packer further revealed to the Church-owned "Deseret News" that his decision to meet with Heinz had been made through a lower-ranking Church middleman.

Contrary to Oaks' claim to me in our September 24, 1993, private meeting that Packer had independently strayed outside approved channels of authority, Packer insisted that, in fact, he had been advised by "the Brethren" to meet with Toscano's stake president.

Said Packer, "Even though General Authorities of the Church are free to contact or respond to local leaders on any subject, I felt there may be some sensitivity about his request. The Brethren felt I could not very well decline to see a stake president. I therefore consented." ("Packer Says He Was Concerned by Request for Meeting, But Apostles Endorsed It," by "Associated Press," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 17 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff)

Toscano was not persuaded by Packer's explanations.

Reacting to Packer's admission of meeting with Heinz, Toscano said, "I knew all along that Boyd Packer was behind it. He's behind all this." ("Grandson of President Asks To Be Removed From LDS Church Rolls," Jennifer Skordas, "Salt Lake Tribune," 11 October 1993, sec. D, p. 1ff)

In my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, I specifically asked if Packer had, in fact, been involved behind the scenes in the excommunication process against Toscano.

Oaks confirmed that Packer had.

Oaks told me he was "distressed and astonished" over Packer's decision to meet with Heinz, even though he said Heinz was the one who had called Packer and asked "for the meeting." Oaks said it was "a mistake" on Packer's part to have agreed to meet with Heinz, the latter whom Oaks described as "an old seminary man." (Packer had come up with Heinz through the ranks of the Church education system).

Oaks told me that, by meeting with Heinz, Packer had gone outside the bounds of his assigned responsibility.

Oaks said one of his own areas of expertise was in legal affairs. Maxwell noted that one reason Oaks had been brought into the Quorum of the Twelve was to help rewrite the manual on Church disciplinary procedure.

Oaks expressed concern that Packer's involvement with Heinz might lead Toscano "to sue the Church" over violation of his ecclesiastical procedural rights.

In the end, Oaks, with a note of resignation in his voice, said of Packer, "You can't stage manage a grizzly bear."

On the heels of my meetings with Oaks and Maxwell, I then accompanied "Arizona Republic" reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers to Salt Lake City in early October 1993 to assist him in making contacts with LDS leaders, spokesmen, educators and critics for a story on the recent purge of notable Church dissidents.

On October 1st, Brinkley-Rogers met for a prearranged, on-the-record, taped Q andamp; A session with Oaks in his Salt Lake City Church office to discuss, among other things, recent Church action against the dissenters.

I had not arranged the interview and did not join the reporter in it, as I did not think it would be appropriate for me to do so. Moreover, prior to the interview, I did not speak to Brinkley-Rogers about what Oaks and Maxwell had told me concerning the Packer/ Toscano matter in my meeting with them on September 24th.

At the conclusion of the interview, I picked Brinkley-Rogers up outside the Church Administration Building and asked how it went. He put the tape into the rental car cassette deck and pushed the "play" button. What I heard astounded--and angered--me.

Much of what Oaks had dished up for public consumption directly contradicted what he had told me in private.

I was immediately aware of the bind that Oaks had put me in. He had lied to a reporter about events which he had described to me in much different terms. I had no choice but to tell the reporter at that point that Oaks was attempting to pull a fast one on him.

So, there in a rental car in Salt Lake City, for the first time, I revealed what Oaks had shared with me in our September 24th meeting, pointing out the contradictions to what I had just heard on the tape. (see "Cracks in the Temple: Mormon Unity in Peril," Paul Brinkley-Rogers, "Arizona Republic," 11 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

During the next five days, I privately struggled with how to publicly deal with Oaks' blatant dishonesties. I was torn between remaining quiet (thereby preserving a confidentiality agreement) or setting the record straight (thereby exposing Oaks' act of calculated deception). I spoke at length with family, friends and colleagues--seeking advice and weighing my options.

I wish I could say it was an easy decision--that I saw the road brightly ahead of me from the moment I was confronted with Oaks' deceit--but that was not the case. I was troubled and, frankly, even a bit frightened by the possible consequences of speaking out. I did not relish the prospect of being accused of breaking a promise; at the same time, I could not stand by silently, given what I knew.

Most of all, I resented the fact that Oaks had put me in this position in the first place.

I finally decided to follow my gut--and my conscience. Oaks' misrepresentations--indeed, his out-and-out lies--prompted me to fax him a letter a few days after the interview. It read as follows:

"6 October 1993 Elder Dallin Oaks The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 47 East South Temple Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

"PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"I wish to share with you my concerns relative to our private conversation in the office of Elder Maxwell on September 24th, in relation to your subsequent comments to 'Arizona Republic' reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers on October 1st."

"In our September 24th meeting, I asked you if Kerry Heinz, Paul Toscano's stake president, had had any contact with, or received any instruction from, Elder Boyd K. Packer during the time leading up to Paul Toscano's excommunication. According to my notes taken during our discussion, you acknowledged that Elder Packer met with President Heinz prior to the rendering of judgment by the stake disciplinary council. You said that President Heinz was 'an old seminary man' and friend of Elder Packer during their days together in the church seminary system and that President Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Elder Packer."

"You told me that you were 'distressed and astonished' that Elder Packer met with President Heinz. Referring to Elder Packer, you observed that 'you can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' You opined that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting."

"You further acknowledged that you later talked directly to Elder Packer and told him that you felt it was wrong and violated church disciplinary procedure for Elder Packer to have been in contact with President Heinz. You said that Elder Packer had no authority or responsibility to participate in such contact and you told me that you strongly urged Elder Packer not to engage in such contact in the future. You added that you fully expected Paul Toscano 'to sue' the Church over this breach of procedural authority. "

"In contrast to what you told me in private, your public statements concerning the Toscano excommunication process and any participation of Elder Packer in it presented a far different picture. Mr. Brinkley-Rogers asked you: 'In the case of Toscano . . . do you have any evidence that Elder Packer [was] involved in any way in the decision-making process in the disciplining of [him]?"

"You responded: 'As for Elder Packer, Elder Packer does not have a specific responsibility for any area in the Church . . . So, if Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it is outside the normal channel. That's all I can say. I have no knowledge of whether he did. But if he, and if he gave a directed verdict or anything like that, that is contrary to policy, it is irregular and it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates. Elder Packer is not the least bit inclined to shrink from saying things like in the talk you saw [to the All-Church Coordinating Council, 18 May 1993]. He is a forthright, plain-spoken man, but Elder Packer is far too sophisticated and sensitive a man to call a stake president and tell him what he has to do in a Church discipline case. I just don't believe that. What's possible is that a stake president might think he had heard such a thing; nobody can dismiss that possibility . . . that kind of slippage happens in communication. But Elder Packer has no, Elder [Loren C.] Dunn has a natural communications link, though an outdated one; Elder Packer does not. So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"Frankly, I find the differences between what you told me and what you told the press to be irreconcilable and ethically troubling. First, by couching your answer to the question of Elder Packer's conversation with President Heinz in the hypothetical, you falsely imply, it seems to me, that you do not know whether he did talk with President Heinz. Second, contrary to what you told me, you explicitly said to the reporter that, in fact, you were not aware if any conversations took place between Elder Packer and President Heinz. Third, your assertion that for Elder Packer to have talked with President Heinz goes against your knowledge of Elder Packer's modus operandi is contradicted by your admission to me that you knew that Elder Packer had talked to him and that you later talked with Elder Packer about it. Fourth, your blanket denial of knowing anything beyond what you told the reporter is completely undermined, I feel, by what you told me."

"In other words, you have told the truth in private about the Packer-Heinz meeting, while denying the truth in public."

"When you asked that I keep our conversation confidential, I assumed that anything you might subsequently say for the record on the matter would be at least honest, if not complete. However, what you said in public varies significantly from the facts as you laid them out to me. It appears that you have asked me not to publicly divulge our conversation in your hope that my initial agreement to remain silent would keep the accuracy of your public utterances from being challenged."

"I have concluded that to remain silent is unacceptable. It would be a cowardly and dishonest act. It would be analogous to having an individual come to me and say, 'Just between us, I killed my wife,' then turn around and tell the press that the next-door neighbor did it. I would have the clear moral obligation to set the record straight, since refusal to act would do violence to the truth and make me an accessory to the crime."

"I will not be a party to a cover-up. Your request for confidentiality, I believe, has been superceded by the fact that you have lied in public, contrary to the facts as you know them, and that your hope of confidentiality rests on maintaining the deception. It has been observed that 'a lie is like a blanket of snow. It may cover unpleasantness for a time but, sooner or later, must melt, exposing that which was hidden."

"To participate in this fraud would only serve to erode trust and destroy relationships."

"I would hope that you would feel it right to publicly set the record straight. Mr. Brinkley-Rogers' phone number is 602-271-8137. If you choose not to do so within the next 24 hours, I will have no choice but to undertake that obligation myself."

"Sincerely,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

Hell hath no fury like a cover blown.

Oaks responded quickly, calling my home the same afternoon he received the fax, in an attempt to reach me. Our youngest daughter--six years old at the time--answered the phone, as my wife listened in on the other end.

"Is your father there?" asked Oaks, in a stern, angry voice.

"No," she replied meekly, "He's at work."

Oaks did not have my office phone number but he had the reporter's, since I had given it to him. (Oaks needed to do his explaining to the person he had lied to in the interview, not to me).

Oaks left a message with Brinkley-Rogers, who returned the call that evening, reaching Oaks at home through the Church switchboard operator (CSO).

Below is the full transcript of the ensuing conversation between Oaks (O) and Brinkley-Rogers (BR), taped by Brinkley-Rogers (which he later allowed me to audio-copy and which copy is currently in my possession). It is reported here with permission of Brinkley-Rogers.

CSO (choir music in the background): "LDS Church Offices."

BR: "Yes, good evening. Uh, this is Paul Brinkley-Rogers calling from Phoenix."

CSO: "Yes."

BR: "Concerning Dallin Oaks' call. He asked me to call the switchboard."

CSO: "Yes. Just a moment, please, while I"--

BR: "Thank you. Thanks a lot."

CSO: "Go ahead, please."

BR: "Thank you."

O: "Hello, Mr. Brinkley-Rogers."

BR: "Good evening, Mr. Oaks. How are you?"

O: "Thanks for calling back."

BR: "Well, thanks for calling me."

O: "Let me put the robe on and go in another room, where I can be comfortable."

BR: "OK, sure."

O: "Thank you for calling back."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "Somebody has called me a liar and I don't like to (inaudible) to that on a charge like that."

BR: "Oh, all right. How did that happen?"

O: "Uh, well, let me explain. I received a very disturbing letter from Steve Benson."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "He compares what I said to him in a confidential setting, relating to Church issues, with a transcript of the interview that I had with you"--

BR: "Yes."

O: --"and accused me of lying."

BR: "Hmm."

O: "And I'm a truthful man and I care for my integrity and, uh, and I, I take no, uh, no little, uh, concern for something like this."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "Before I talk with you about it, let me ask you a question"--

BR: "Sure."

O: --"so you'll understand why I need to ask that before I speak about this."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "What I would like to know is the relationship between you and Steve Benson in this matter. Specifically, was Steve on a reconnaissance for you when he asked about two weeks ago for a Church interview and came into an interview, in an ecclesiastical setting, which is the occasion of this comparison?"

BR: "No, I, I had no idea that he even did that."

O: "I didn't think so."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "Uh, let me ask a follow-up question."

BR: "Sure."

O: "Uh, is, are you involved in any kind of an effort that Steve is now making to extort information from me--and I use the word 'extort,' uh"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"advisedly."

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"to extort information from me in behalf of you?"

BR: "No. I'm not aware of any such thing."

O: "Now, he had, the reason I had to ask that is that he had the manuscript that was our interview."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "And he was comparing that with notes he'd made earlier when he had a conversation"--

BR: "Oh, I see. No, I played the tape for Steve of, uh, our interview, you know, after the interview and I noticed that he looked sort of surprised by it."

O: "OK, well, then, I, I take that at face value."

BR: "All right."

O: "And, and you, what I'm going to tell you why, I, uh, oh, why I was aroused by this."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "Now, I assume, as I told you at the time, that you're a professional journalist"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I assume, I take The Arizona Republic at, at face value. Uh, uh, it seems to me like it's been very professional and, and I deal with you in that light."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "And I assume that neither you nor The Republic want to be used in Steve's grievances against, and controversies with, his Church"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"that are rather considerable, uh, uh, controversy with his Church."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "I was trying to do, to deal with that in having a confidential interview with him."

BR: "OK."

O: "And now he, he has drawn in this letter to me, he's drawn these two things together"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "And I'd rather deal with you separately"--

BR: "You mean this conversation with you, uh, compared"--

O: "His conversation with me"--

BR: --"compared with the tape?"

O: "Compared with the tape, and that's, uh, what I'd like to do, is deal separately with you."

BR: "OK."

O: "And I assume that you don't want to get involved with Steve's controversies with his Church."

BR: "No."

O: "I assume that that's part of your professional approach to this and if I, if I can deal separately with you, independent of Steve Benson"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"then it's, then it's much easier for me to (inaudible) my problems."

BR: "All right, so let's go ahead on that basis."

O: "OK, good. Now, when (cough) I received this letter from Steve, which was, uh, a very accusatory letter"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and, uh, I presume that you don't know about its contents"--

BR: "Right."

O: "But when I received this letter, which I did this afternoon about 5 o'clock"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"I got the transcript out and reviewed it very carefully, the transcript of my interview with you."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "When I did that, I saw one sentence in my interview with you--and only one sentence--that I would say overstated the truth."

BR: "OK."

O: "And that sentence I want to correct."

BR: "All right, sir. Fine."

O: "And I am sorry for it, but in a, in a, our, our interview was 60 minutes long and, you know, I was shooting from the hip (inaudible) along"--

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"and it was one of those things, which called to my attention, is inaccurate and I want to correct it."

BR: "All right."

O: "The, the, the only thing I can see that I want to correct."

BR: "OK, sir."

O: "And this is a, is a, uh, oh, about one-fourth of the circumstances that, uh, that, uh, Steve cites in his letter, because I looked, uh, I looked at the others and, and, uh, I think that, uh, I, I don't, uh, feel any necessity under my commitment to integrity to make any change in what I said."

BR: "OK."

O: "But in this one instance, I do."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "The sentence is, is toward the end of the interview."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "It is the, the last paragraph of the interview."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I'm looking at the transcript that was made from the recording when made here."

BR: "Yup."

O: "It's, uh, it's in this talk about the Kerry Heinz matter"--

BR: "All right."

O: "And the sentence is this, about having a conversation: 'So, if Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"'it is outside the normal channel'"--

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"'that's all I can say. I have not'–"my transcript says that. It must be 'no'"–'I have no knowledge of whether he did.'"

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "That's the sentence that should be stricken."

BR: "OK."

O: "If you'd just strike out, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"then I'll stand by the transcript of things that I said to you, but that statement, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"was, uh, as I looked back on the transcript, I think that's inaccurate and I want to withdraw that."

BR: "All right. Now, um, I guess my question is, do, do you have knowledge that he did that, in that case?"

O: "Now"--

BR: "Is that what we're getting to here?"

O: "Let me just, uh, let me just say this"--

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "Uh (clears throat), when I met with Steve Benson"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"Uh, I was trying to help Steve Benson in a matter, a Church matter, that does not concern the subject of our interview."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "In the course of doing that, I spoke to him confidentially and in a privileged relationship"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and, uh, I think his letter and the things he says in his letter, abuse that privileged relationship, uh, in a really, uh, well, I'll stop there."

BR: "OK."

O: "And, and I, uh, [Steve] also says some things in his letter which he may share with you, I don't know"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "But he, he claims to have notes of things that I've said in the, in the conversation with him"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I don't affirm his notes."

BR: "OK."

O: "If he shows you a copy of his letter"--

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: --"I certainly don't affirm his notes"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and I'm not either admitting or denying things that I, I was speaking there in a privileged relationship and I don't think that it's fair for Steve, uh, nor is it fair for me"--

BR: "Yup."

O: --"to go into a privileged relationship"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and for me to affirm or deny his notes, so I, I simply stand silent on what he claims took place"--

BR: "Right."

O: --"in a privileged conversation and, as a journalist, you'd understand the privilege."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "I think his notes are quite self-serving, but that's, that's simply my, my perspective."

BR: "OK."

O: "But what I am saying is that I just don't choose to go, uh, I don't choose to be–what's the word I'm looking for?–leveraged"--

BR: "Hmm."

O: --"into saying anything more than I said to you in the interview by Steve Benson's use of privileged information."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "So, to answer your question, I'd say that I just don't choose to affirm or deny."

BR: "OK."

O: "But I do wish to withdraw a sentence which, as I read it on the transcript, is inaccurate."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "So, I, if you will do me the favor of striking out that, you do whatever you want with what remains."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "And I'm glad to defend whatever remains, but I cannot defend that sentence."

BR: "All right. Well, it's clear to me."

O: "All right. And I appreciate that and I appreciate the opportunity of being able to speak to you as a, on a professional basis and I, I must tell you that I make this phone call because it distresses me when somebody claims that I lie."

BR: "All right. Well, all right."

O: "Because I don't do that."

BR: "OK, sir."

O: "Well, I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and thank you for calling."

BR: "Thanks for calling me."

O: "OK."

BR: "Bye-bye."

O: "Bye-bye."

I was not immediately informed by the reporter of the details of the above conversation, being initially told only that Oaks had called to clarify the record. Assuming (as it turned out, naively) that Oaks had come completely clean, I faxed him a letter the next day, which read:

"7 October 1993 Elder Dallin Oaks The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 47 East South Temple Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

"PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL: SECOND TRANSMISSION"

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"I want to personally thank you for calling the 'Arizona Republic' reporter, Mr. Brinkley-Rogers, to clarify your earlier statements.

"May I emphasize that I came to you with no hidden agenda. My sincerity of motive, I believe, was evidenced by the fact that, given the problem I faced with reconciling your public and private comments, an opportunity was provided for you to set the record straight.

"Again, thank you.

"Regards,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

I had spoken too soon.

When Brinkley-Rogers permitted me to listen to the full tape of the phone conversation between himself and Oaks, I realized I had been duped. Oaks had not come close to coming clean, as I had hoped and expected he would. His apology was cagey, hesitant, defensive and limited. He had lied by omission and commission, but somehow had talked himself into believing he had done the right thing. Moreover, Oaks' subsequent statements to the press in ensuing days were far from forthright.

I was not about to sit by and let him get away with it.

I went to the press, laid out the entire story and submitted my letter of resignation from the Mormon Church.

In the meantime, Oaks was dribbling out half-hearted confessions. Five days after the phone conversation with the "Arizona Republic" reporter, Oaks publicly admitted that he had not been truthful about his knowledge of Packer's involvement in the Toscano episode.

In an "Associated Press" wire-story appearing October 12th in "The Salt Lake Tribune," veteran Utah reporter Vern Anderson wrote:

"Elder Oaks admitted late Monday he 'could not defend the truthfulness of one of the statements' about Packer, who is considered by many to be behind the Church's recent crackdown on dissidents . . .

"Oaks told 'Arizona Republic' reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers on Oct. 1 that he had 'no knowledge' of whether Packer had met with Kerry Heinz, the local ecclesiastical leader for Salt lake lawyer Paul Toscano, before Heinz excommunicated Toscano on Sept. 19. Toscano was cited by Heinz, his stake president, for criticizing church leaders and acting contrary to the role and order of the Church.

"However, in a 'personal and confidential' letter to Oaks on Oct. 6, Benson reminded the apostle that in a private meeting Sept. 24, Oaks had told Benson he was 'distressed and astonished' that Packer had met with Heinz.

"He quoted Oaks as saying of Packer, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear,' and added that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"Benson also wrote that Oaks 'further acknowledged that you later talked directly to Elder Packer and told him that you felt it was wrong and violated Church disciplinary procedure for Elder Packer to have been in contact with President Heinz.'

"Benson said he was making his letter to Oaks public because he was fed up with Church leaders shading the truth. Last summer, he criticized the faith's hierarchy for claiming his 94-year-old grandfather was still involved in important church decisions.

"In an interview Monday evening, Oaks declined to confirm or deny most of Benson's assertions about a pair of private interviews the church prophet's grandson had in September with Oaks and Elder Neal Maxwell, another member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a body that advises the Church's presidency.

"However, Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, acknowledged that his single statement to reporter Brinkley-Rogers about having no knowledge of the Packer-Heinz meeting was one 'I could not defend. It was not a truthful statement.'

"Benson's letter to Oaks had warned the apostle that unless he set the record straight, Benson would feel under no obligation to honor the promise of confidentiality he had earlier given Oaks and Maxwell.

"Oaks called the 'Republic's' reporter that night and retracted the 'I have no knowledge of whether he [Packer] did' statement. The Republic's story, minus the statement, appeared Sunday. It quoted Packer as admitting he had met with Heinz about Toscano's case, but he denied having pressured the stake president to excommunicate Toscano.

"Oaks did not retract other statements in the interview with Brinkley-Rogers that Benson had alleged--and Oaks denies--were false or deliberately misleading. Nevertheless, Benson faxed Oaks another letter Oct. 7 thanking him for having called Brinkley-Rogers to 'clarify your earlier statements.'

"Oaks said he had assumed by Benson's second letter that he was satisfied. He stressed that Benson at least three times had assured him and Maxwell that their meetings--initiated by a kindly letter to Benson from Maxwell–were confidential and would never be publicly discussed.

"'I think that Steve Benson is just going to have to carry the responsibility for whatever he relates about a confidential meeting,' Oaks said.

"Benson said he felt acutely the moral dilemma of having promised confidentiality, but then having seen deliberate efforts to mislead the public about Packer's role in the Toscano affair. 'I had to decide to be a party to the cover-up or be faithful to my own convictions,' Benson said. 'I had to let Elder Oaks walk a plank of his own making.'

"Toscano, who is appealing his excommunication, said he loves the Church, but doesn't confuse it with 'individual leaders who are kind of running amok in a vacuum.'

"He said that if Ezra Taft Benson were capable of managing the Church today, his eldest grandson's plea would not have gone unheeded." ("Cartoonist Says Oaks Lied To Protect Fellow Apostle," Vern Anderson, Associated Press, in Salt Lake Tribune, 12 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff)

By now the fireworks were lighting up the Temple Square skyline. Rather than agitate Oaks even more, however, I tried a softer, more conciliatory approach--even as I again chided him for refusing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God.

In "an open letter" dated October 15, 1993, I wrote:

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"Given the events of recent days, I feel it important to communicate to you the reasons why I believed it necessary to speak openly about our conversations concerning the Packer-Heinz-Toscano affair.

"I understand your displeasure with the fact than an agreement of confidentiality was abrogated. I also understand your reasons for being upset that I went public after having expressed appreciation for your calling the press in an effort to clarify your earlier statements.

"Yet, even in your subsequent revision, you did not correct what I believe to have been other deliberate misrepresentations. I could not, therefore, in good conscience, let them remain unchallenged, when both you and I knew better. You were provided with an opportunity to set the record straight completely. You chose only to correct one of the three falsehoods. I do not consider myself responsible for your decisions not to be fully honest.

"As I noted in earlier correspondence, I feel you lost the benefit of confidentiality when you knowingly dissembled in public about what you told me in private. In so doing, I feel you violated the trust and faith between not only you and me, but between the Church leadership and the members at large. I therefore felt it my moral obligation to break the silence that otherwise would have served only to perpetuate falsehood and false faith.

"I have done so because I see so many people in the Church hurting under the crushing heel of ecclesiastical abuse. It is time to lift the heel and start to heal.

"The scriptures tell of another apostle--a man of God and servant of the Master who, because of weakness and pressure--also lied three times. Yet, he admitted his mistakes, repented of them and became not only one of the Lord's mightiest witnesses, but an example to the rest of us imperfect souls of what It means to be honest and true in Christ.

"You now have the opportunity to shine your light in the darkness and warm us all through your spiritual courage. Please use the purity of your spirit, intellect and testimony to help us heal together.

"Sincerely,

[Signed]

"Steve Benson"

I didn't hear back from Oaks, except when I read what he was now saying to the press.

Oaks next went to the Church-owned Deseret News to air his grievances. On October 16, 1993, the following article appeared:

"Sitting in his office in the LDS Church administration building, Elder Dallin H. Oaks carefully reads a news report that says he admitted to 'falsely telling' a journalist he had no knowledge of an event involving the excommunication of a church member.

"'Life isn't fair,' Elder Oaks said. 'Somebody said that time heals all wounds. But it's also true that time wounds all heels.' he added in jest.

"But in a serious tone, Elder Oaks, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Council of the Twelve, said he feels 'wounded' by an Associated Press story that he said dwelled on his admission that he made a statement he couldn't defend, and downplayed his efforts to promptly correct his unintentional error.

"'It impugned my integrity and seriously distorted the account of the facts as it was presented,' Oaks said in an interview this week.

"The apostle said he didn't willfully mislead a news reporter. He explained that he had misspoken during an hour-long interview and when he was notified of that he called the reporter to retract a 'statement I could not defend.'

"The story was published four days later in the Arizona Republic newspaper, without the statement.

"Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Steve Benson expressed frustration over what he sees as high-ranking church officials twisting the truth and deceiving members.

"'I'm tired of playing this little game,' he said in a phone interview from his office at "The Arizona Republic." 'The Church needs to respect its members . . . It wants to muzzle its members.'

"Benson, a sixth-generation Mormon and grandson of Church President Ezra Taft Benson, wants no longer to be a 'muzzled' member. On Sunday he announced he had requested his name be removed from the rolls of the Mormon Church. The next day, he disclosed to the 'Associated Press' details of confidential conversations and correspondence between him and Elder Oaks.

"The subsequent news story published locally in Tuesday's 'Salt Lake Tribune' was the latest episode in a saga surrounding recent disciplinary action taken against six prominent Mormon scholars and feminists. Five of them--one who was disfellowshipped and four who were excommunicated--said they were disciplined for apostasy and are victims of an orchestrated purge.

"Earlier this month, Elder Oaks spoke with an 'Arizona Republic' reporter about the recent string of disciplinary councils. During the interview, they discussed whether Elder Boyd K. Packer, also a member of the Council of the Twelve, talked with local stake president Kerry Heinz, who later presided over a disciplinary council that excommunicated church critic Paul Toscano.

"In the interview, Elder Oaks said he had no knowledge of whether Elder Packer met with the stake president. According to 'The Arizona Republic' story, Elder Oaks also said that if Elder Packer told the stake president what action to take against a church member, it would violate church policy and 'be contrary to what I know about Elder Packer and the way he operates.'

"Benson claimed that Elder Oaks told him a different story during their confidential discussions held two weeks earlier. Benson would not say why he had a private talk with Elder Oaks. But he said that during their talk Elder Oaks disclosed that Elder Packer and Heinz were old friends who did get together at Heinz's request and that such a meeting was a mistake.

"Benson added that Elder Oaks referred to Elder Packer when saying, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.'

"Oaks declined to discuss what Benson said took place in their private discussion. 'Even though I could defend myself by affirming or denying those things, I don't feel free' to do that without violating a pledge of confidentiality, he said.

"The dispute over what Elder Packer said in a meeting with Heinz has attracted news media attention because some of those disciplined and their supporters had claimed Elder Packer was personally conducting a crackdown on church dissidents.

"In a statement issued Friday, Elder Packer said, 'In late June, President Kerry Heinz asked his regional representative if he could arrange an appointment with me. We had served together in the seminary program 35 years ago.'

"'Even though general authorities of the Church are free to contact or respond to local leaders on any subject, I felt there may be some sensitivity about this request,' Elder Packer said. 'I, therefore, in a meeting of the Council of the Twelve Apostles raised the question of whether I should see him. The Brethren felt I could not very well decline to see a stake president.

"'I therefore consented but asked President Heinz if he would feel all right about his file leader, President Loren Dunn, being present. He readily agreed,' Elder Packer said. The meeting was held Sunday, July 11, 1993.

"'We talked doctrine and philosophy,' Elder Packer said. 'I absolutely did not instruct him to hold a disciplinary council and did not then, nor have I ever, directed any verdict. By Church policy that is left entirely to local leaders. When he left, I did not know what he would do.'

"In his interview with the Deseret News, Benson said what Elder Oaks told him didn't square with what was said to the reporter. So he transmitted a confidential letter to Elder Oaks pointing that out. Benson said he also warned that if the apostle did not 'set the record straight' he would no longer feel obligated to keep their discussion confidential.

"After receiving the letter, Elder Oaks said, he reviewed the transcript of his interview with the reporter and found he couldn't defend his comment about having no knowledge of Packer meeting with Heinz.

"'How do you make a statement like that? I can't give any better explanation than the fact that I was talking a mile a minute and I just said something that on mature reflection I (concluded), "I can't defend the truthfulness of that,"' Elder Oaks said. But he let his other statements stand 'because I could defend those,' he said.

"While Elder Oaks said he was glad to correct his misstatement, he didn't like Benson's methods. 'He has taken a confidential meeting where he had repeatedly assured me that he would never speak of subjects we were discussing . . . and now he has written me a letter using that confidential meeting to pressure me. And I deeply resent that.'

"Benson said he had no hidden agenda to corner a Church authority. He said he wrote Elder Oaks before the story ran, thanking him for retracting a statement and explaining his intention was to give Elder Oaks a chance to set the record straight.

"But after later learning that Elder Oaks left intact the other comments that troubled Benson, Benson said he followed through on his threat to go public.

"In a follow-up letter transmitted Friday to Elder Oaks explaining why he decided to speak openly about their confidential conversations, Benson said, 'I feel you violated the trust and faith between not only you and me, but between the Church leadership and the members at large. I therefore felt it my moral obligation to break the silence that otherwise would have served only to perpetuate falsehood and false faith.'" ("Elder Oaks Says News Story 'Seriously Distorted' Facts, LDS Apostle Calls His Error Unintentional. (Cartoonist Says Church Twists Truth," Matthew S. Brown, "The Deseret News," 16 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

Oaks next turned to the "Salt Lake Tribune," to further defend his honor. In a highly unusual commentary written for that newspaper, published on October 21, 1993, he declared:

"On October 12, 16, and 17, the 'Salt Lake Tribune' gave prominent and extensive coverage to wire-service stories on cartoonist Steve Benson's charges that I 'lied' to an 'Arizona Republic' reporter in an interview on current controversies over church discipline. I have no desire to prolong this controversy, but feel it necessary to set the record straight on some important matters omitted or obscured in this attack upon my integrity.

"My dictionary defines lying as being 'deliberately untruthful' and a 'lie' as 'a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive.' I did not 'lie' to the reporter and, contrary to the wire-service story printed in the October 16 'Tribune,' I did not 'admit' to 'falsely telling' the reporter something that was untrue.

"I withdrew one sentence I had spoken in a long interview, and I did so three days before the article was published because I realized when I saw the written transcript, that this single sentence was not 'truthful'(meaning 'accurate' or 'correct'). When a newspaper publishes something that it later realizes to have been incorrect, does it apologize to its readers for 'lying' or does it just print a correction? My statement to the reporter was corrected before it was published.

"The sequence and timing of various events is important.

"On Sept. 9 Elder Neal A. Maxwell and I met with Steve and Mary Ann Benson for about two and one-half hours to discuss their questions. Because he was a newspaperman, we sought and he gave solemn assurances that our discussions would be confidential. We continue to honor that confidence.

"On Sept. 10, Steve Benson wrote us a letter expressing gratitude for 'being able to talk freely in an atmosphere of trust,' reaffirming his commitment to 'honor completely the confidentiality of our conversation, in not speaking, or even alluding to, for the record anything said by either of you,' and asking for another meeting to deal with 'some follow-up questions.'

"On Sept. 24, we met again with Steve Benson for about an hour and a half.

"On Oct. 1, a reporter for the 'Arizona Republic' interviewed me for about an hour on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to current controversies over church discipline. Though Steve Benson works for this paper, he did not arrange this interview and was not included in it.

"At about 4:30 p.m. on October 6, I received a 'personal and confidential' letter from Steve Benson. Relying on his personal notes of our confidential conversations, he charged that I had 'lied in public' in my interview with the reporter and stated that unless I 'publicly set the record straight' by calling the reporter within 24 hours, he would do so himself.

"I immediately studied the lengthy transcript of the Oct. 1 interview (16 pages single-spaced), received the previous day. I was distressed to find one statement to the reporter I could see was not accurate ('I have no knowledge of whether he did'). I am sure I did not speak that sentence with intent to deceive, but whether it was an inadvertence or a result of forgetfulness in the context of a long and far-reaching interview, I cannot be sure. But the important thing was that I could recognize that this sentence was not correct. (Three other statements challenged by Steve Benson required no correction.)

"That same evening (Oct. 1) I reached the reporter, advised him of the circumstances, and asked to withdraw the single sentence. He agreed.

"On Oct. 7, I received another 'personal and confidential' letter from Steve Benson thanking me for calling the reporter 'to clarify your earlier statements.' His letter did not even hint that he thought further clarifications were necessary.

"'The Arizona Republic' article appeared on Oct. 10. It made no mention of the sentence I had withdrawn. There was also a separate story about Steve Benson and his wife seeking to have their names removed from the records of the Church.

"On Oct. 11, Steve Benson sent a copy of his 'personal and confidential' letters of Oct. 6 and 7 to the 'Associated Press' in Salt Lake City. He also gave TV and radio interviews on this subject.

"In summary, when I found that I could not defend the correctness of one brief sentence in a long interview, I immediately contacted the reporter and withdrew that sentence, doing so more than three days before the story was scheduled for publication. When the publication honored that correction and made no comment on it, Steve Benson accused me of lying in public and participating in a cover-up, and the wire-service coverage of this episode has inaccurately portrayed me as deliberately making false statements in public.

"My perception of this matter is simple. I have been the victim of double-decker deceit: 1. betrayal of promises of confidentiality, and 2. false accusation of lying.

"My heart goes out to all who have suffered from this painful sequence of events." ("Oaks: 'I've Been A Victim of Double-Decker Deceit," Dallin Oaks, Salt Lake Tribune, 21 October 1993, sec. A, p. 19)

Faced with Oaks' full-court press aimed at damage control, I determined it was time to push back. Four days after Oaks' article appeared in the 'Salt Lake Tribune,' my own commentary followed in the same newspaper, giving a somewhat different perspective on events:

"Mormons are admonished to be honest. Unfortunately, Apostle Dallin Oaks chooses to deny important truths relating to Elder Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano.

"On Sept. 9 I met with Elders Oaks and Maxwell. In a Sept. 10 letter, I promised them I would not speak on the record about the contents of that meeting. I have kept that pledge.

"On Sept. 24, we met again and confidentially discussed the Toscano excommunication. Confidentiality agreements are valid only when the parties involved remind truthful, whether publicly or privately. Oaks broke that ground rule, thereby releasing me from any obligation of silence in the Toscano cover up. All else on that date has remained confidential.

"In that meeting, I asked Oaks if Kerry Heinz, Toscano's stake president, had any contact with Boyd K. Packer prior to Toscano's excommunication.

"According to my notes taken during the meeting, Oaks admitted that Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Packer. Oaks said he was 'distressed and astonished' that Packer agreed to the meeting. Referring to Packer, he said, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' He said that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"(One wonders why the conflict between Oaks' surprise over the Packer-Heinz meeting and Packer's public statement that the Twelve authorized that meeting.)

"Oaks said he later talked with Packer and told him he felt Packer had violated procedure by meeting with Heinz, noting that Packer had no authority or responsibility in this area. He said he strongly urged Packer to avoid future such meetings, adding the he expected Toscano 'to sue the church.'

"On Oct. 1 an 'Arizona Republic' reporter asked Oaks if Packer was 'involved in any way' in the disciplining of Toscano.

"Oaks replied: '. . . If Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it s outside the normal channel . . . I have no knowledge of whether he did. But if he did, and if he gave a directed verdict . . . that is contrary to policy . . . and it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates . . . So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"Oaks' answer contained several clear-cut falsehoods which point to a larger pattern of deception.

"First, by couching the Packer-Heinz meeting hypothetically, he falsely implied personal ignorance of whether it occurred. Oaks left this on the record.

"Second, Oaks said he had no knowledge that Packer met with Heinz.

"Commendably, Oaks later retracted this statement.

"Third, Oaks claimed that if Packer met with Heinz, it ran contrary to Oaks' knowledge of how Packer operated. Oaks left this on the record.

"Finally, Oaks claimed he knew nothing more. He left this falsehood on the record.

"Upon hearing Oaks' attempted cover for Packer, I was dismayed and faxed Oaks a letter on Oct. 6, detailing what he told me on Sept. 24, juxtaposed against what he told the reporter on Oct. 1. I highlighted his false on-the-record statements, so that there could be no misunderstanding.

"I informed him that our confidentiality agreement was void and offered him 24 hours to set the record straight, advising him that if he did not, I would.

"It is critical to understand that Oaks did not initiate any corrections for the record. Only after receiving my Oct. 6 letter did he contact the reporter to issue a limited retraction.

"Initially, I was pleased to hear from the reporter that Oaks had corrected himself. On Oct. 7, I faxed him a second letter, thanking him for taking the opportunity to clarify his earlier statements.

"That thank-you note proved to be premature, because I was unaware at the time I wrote it that Oaks had not retracted all his falsehoods. Upon discovering that he had left most of them intact, I concluded he had been provided ample opportunity to set the record straight and had not.

"When Oaks chose to publicly dissemble, he violated my trust and that of the church at large. May his heart go out, not only in love, but in reconciliation, to those who have suffered from this abuse of ecclesiastical power."

("Benson Replies, Charges Oaks With Dissembling," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 25 October 1993, sec. A, p. 5)

Oaks also took his "Battle of Wounded Me" to the Brigham Young University campus, where attention focused on keeping the hearts and minds of the rising generation in line.

The same day his defensive commentary ran in "The Salt Lake Tribune," it also appeared up in the Church-owned campus newspaper, "The Daily Universe." ("News reports distorted facts, Elder Oaks Says," Dallin Oaks, the Daily Universe, 25 October 1993, p. 3)

In the interest of equal time, I contacted the "Universe" and requested that my response to Oaks (the one also originally printed in "The Salt Lake Tribune") also be published in the BYU student newspaper.

I was told by a "Universe" faculty adviser that Oaks' version of events had been published in the "Universe" at the direct request of the First Presidency.

He further informed me that the school paper was already having problems "up the road" with the Church. He said that if the "Universe" printed my reply, "the General Authorities might shut us down."

It was becoming clear that if Church members were going to get the truth on this messy affair, they couldn't depend on the Church for help.

I turned to an off-campus, supposedly independent student publication, "Student Review," and spoke with its student editor, requesting that he publish a letter to the editor from me about the controversy. The editor replied that if the "Review" published my piece, it would be perceived as being a critic of the Church and "lose advertisers."

Still holding out hope, however, I faxed a cover letter, along with the letter to the editor, to "Student Review," wishing for a change of heart. The cover letter read:

"October 29, 1993 TO: Brian Waterman FROM: Steve Benson RE: publishing the attached letter in Student Review

"Dear Brian:

"Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you yesterday. I appreciated your explanation of the current situation with 'Student Review.' I sincerely hope that arrangements can be made to publish my letter in your paper.

"It would be unfortunate if the letter is killed for fear that your publication would somehow be considered 'anti-church' or that it would be bad for business. Truth is ultimately our best defense and the best way of doing business. Shying away from forthrightly informing readers on matters of public importance only guarantees that wrongs will be perpetrated and, in the long run, serves only to hurt the church.

"I would not object to having Elder Oaks' version of the events printed alongside my letter. In fact, that format might provide the best opportunity for readers to determine for themselves the facts of the case.

"Thanks for your consideration.

"Sincerely,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

The accompanying letter to the editor read, in part, as follows:

"On October 25, the 'Daily Universe,' reportedly acting on a request from the office of the First Presidency, published an article by Elder Dallin Oaks, claiming recent news reports had falsely accused him of lying about Elder Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano and alleging that I had broken a confidence in making that charge.

"In the interest of fairness and accuracy, I requested that 'The Universe' provide me an opportunity to reply. That request was denied.

"The reason given by Universe staff was that opinions contrary to that of Elder Oaks would not see print, because of expected opposition from Salt Lake. Fear was expressed that if the 'Universe' published contrary to the wishes of the Brethren, it might be shut down.

"Given these unfortunate circumstances, I approached 'Student Review,' hoping that fuller access to the facts would allow readers to make informed and intelligent judgments.

"Those facts are as follows [the letter then covered ground already noted above, with these additional observations]:

"On Oct. 1, Elder Oaks gave a carefully-worded, tape-recorded interview to 'The Arizona Republic,' where he was asked if Elder Packer was 'involved in any way' in the disciplining of Paul Toscano.

"Elder Oaks now admits that one of his answers to the reporter was untrue but blames it on 'inadvertence' or 'forgetfulness.' He insists that other challenged statements he made 'required no correction.'

"These explanations are simply not persuasive. Four of his on-the-record answers are quoted below, paired with contrary facts he provided me in the Sept. 24 meeting, during which I took notes. Examined together, they point to a deliberate pattern of deception.

"First, by framing his answer in the hypothetical, Elder Oaks falsely implied that he did not know whether Elder Packer had talked with Paul Toscano's stake president, Kerry Heinz. He told the reporter, 'If Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it is outside the normal channel.'

"In truth, Elder Oaks acknowledged to me that they had met, saying President Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Elder Packer.

"Second, Elder Oaks falsely claimed ignorance of whether Elder Packer conversed with President Heinz. He told the reporter, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did.'

"In reality, Elder Oaks did know the discussion took place--as evidenced by the fact that he later retracted this statement.

"Third, Elder Oaks misleadingly insisted that for Elder Packer to have had contact with President Heinz ran counter to Elder Oaks' personal knowledge of both Elder Packer and his approach. He told the reporter, 'If he did . . . it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates.'

"In actuality, Elder Oaks knew how Elder Packer operated and did not like what he saw. Speaking of Elder Packer, he told me, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' He said he was 'distressed and astonished' that Elder Packer met with President Heinz, noting 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"(Elder Oaks may want to explain the contradiction between his claim of being surprised by the Packer-Heinz meeting and Elder Packer's claim that the Twelve gave prior approval for that meeting).

"Elder Oaks also told me he later spoke directly with Elder Packer, advising him that Elder Packer's meeting with President Heinz violated disciplinary procedure and that Elder Packer had no authority or responsibility in this area. He said he strongly urged Elder Packer to avoid such meetings in the future and admitted he expected Paul Toscano 'to sue the church' (This also contradicts Elder Packer's claim of prior approval).

"Fourth, Elder Oaks summarized his knowledge of the Packer-Heinz-Toscano case by once again falsely pleading ignorance. He told the reporter, 'So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"As he admitted earlier to me, he clearly knew more . . .

"In conclusion, while Elder Oaks portrays himself as an innocent victim in this regrettable affair, he has (1) admitted privately the facts concerning the Packer-Heinz-Toscano case, (2) falsified publicly about those facts, (3) retracted one of his untrue statements under threat of exposure and (4) refused to disclaim other statements of his that are demonstrably untrue.

"This dispute has been a painful one. It could, and should have been avoided if Elder Oaks had originally told the truth . . .

"Steve Benson"

The letter was not published.

Finally, I turned to Provo's community newspaper, "The Daily Herald," hoping for a sympathetic ear. To the credit of its editor (who happened to be Catholic), the paper published the letter to the editor that "Student Review" would not touch, along with the following "Editor's note":

"News stories earlier this month dealt with the resignation from the LDS Church of 'Arizona Republic' political cartoonist Steve Benson. Benson is a grandson of LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson.

"Following Benson's resignation from the LDS Church, he made charges that LDS Apostle Dallin H. Oaks was less than truthful in some statements made concerning Apostle Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Mormon dissenter Paul Toscano. There were several 'Associated Press' wire stories detailing Benson's allegations and responses from Oaks.

"On Saturday, the 'Daily Herald' printed, on the front page, the complete text of a letter from Oaks explaining his position and actions on the matters. On Sunday, Benson called this paper's managing editor at his home and requested the opportunity to respond to Oaks' letter. Benson's response follows."

("Benson responds to Oaks' letter," in "The Daily Herald," 26 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

The above has been a detailed and extensive account of events involving the Toscano-Packer-Heinz-Oaks affair. If only Oaks had told the truth, it would have been a lot shorter.

Now I learn that Oaks was reportedly willing to make his career as an apostle for the LDS Inc. a lot shorter, had he followed through on his offer and resigned over his dissing of his Quorum of the Twelve superior and fellow myth-spinner Packer.
topic image
The Holy Ghost Is Like A Burning In The Bosom - But Not According To Oaks
Monday, Feb 2, 2009, at 09:05 AM
Original Author(s): Measure
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
As I was reading through the Gospel Doctrine manual, lesson 6, I ran across this quote from Dallin Oaks. I can tell, it's going to be a lot of fun when I write up my review of this lesson next week.
“I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom ‘burn within’ them. What does a ‘burning in the bosom’ mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word ‘burning’ in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity” (Ensign,Mar. 1997, 13)
So we have some apostles and prophets on record as saying the holy ghost causes a burning in the bosom, but Oaks on record saying it does no such thing! Incredible.
topic image
My Disappointing Easter: Midwest Area Conference
Monday, Apr 13, 2009, at 09:05 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I didn't know I would be spending my Easter with a large congregation watching a satellite broadcast of three people on subjects other than Easter. It was very impersonal, disappointing, and unfulfilling. I honestly don't remember hearing anything other than a passing reference about the glorious resurrection of Christ. Happy, Easter! :(

I took a few notes from the Easter Midwest Area Conference another poster described. Not word for word:

Dallin H. Oaks [Mormon Apostle]: In his introduction, he spoke rather condescendingly of the way others celebrate easter: "This conference is NOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR EASTER. WE celebrate it WEEKLY...It is far more significant than the large and unique celebration of one Sabbath per year...Others are celebrating today with candy, eggs, and bunnies."

The majority of his talk was on subjects unrelated to Easter.

He told young people they lacked perspective. "You have ONLY 10 years of perspective...YOU DON'T SEE EVERYTHING AROUND YOU...Perspective is an advantage your parents and grandparents have.." He then brought in an example of perspective from an Audrey Hepburn movie, African Queen as if show he was in touch with culture Two main characters trying to reach Lake Victoria by boat don't realize how close they are because their perspective is obscured by the growth around them)

Oaks then spoke about his many years in Illinois and how he had spoken at virutally every stake conference in the Midwest since "being called to be an apostle 25 years ago" this month.

He emphasized how he and others had REPEATEDLY counseled us to avoid debt and become self-sufficient: "I have said this again and again at numerous stake conferences around the midwest... AVOID DEBT."

He then gave advice for keeping out debt. He paused for a few seconds, encouraging members to write these things down. "Husbands should regularly tell their wives these four things:

1) I love you

2) I'm sorry

3) Yes, dear

4) We can't afford it"

He made it very clear that the church welfare program was to be used as a last resort. I'm sure if anyone falls into need now or is using the system, they must feel VERY GUILTY. I felt really bad for a large, faithful, tithe- paying family in sitting close to me. Their father had lost his job and the church had been helping them with their mortgage payments so they wouldn't be foreclosed. Oaks words must have been very painful to them.

As an aside, the fasts offering program here in the Midwest is running a huge deficit (according to our leaders). A new strategy has been introduced to increase donations: the deacons will now travel by car great distances with the priests to collect fast offerings (this is done in Utah where member live close together-not as practical our here).

He then indicated that through TITHING we can QUALIFY for all blessings the Lord has for us.

Steven Snow: Spoke for several minutes about how his son was injured in a bike accident and was left in a coma for days. Spoke of the fun he had asking his son afterwards what day it was, knowing his son would always get it wrong because he had lost his short term memory.

Then he somehow twisted this into an lesson of how we must not lose or short spiritual memory and how we cannot rely on our long term memories, such as our mission experience, to keep us going strong. I found this interesting because many GAs have told me that their missionary experience is often the only thing that keeps them going in the gospel.

He then mentioned how we cannot hang our faith on visits from heavenly messengers, noting how Laman and Lemuel turned away after seeing an angel. I wasn't sure how to reconcile this with importance placed on the first vision.

Summary: we cannot rely upon past spiritual experiences. Compare this to Elder Eyring's talk, "Remember: from a few years ago.

Margeret Lifferth: A very nice lady who spoke about growing up in Ames, Iowa and other warm fuzzies that warmed up local members.

President Monson: I don't remember what he talked about. He spoke very softly and they didn't turn up the sound. I looked around and it didn't seme like many were payng attention. I think he was telling some nice stories about widows and little boys in his trademark sing-songy voice.

Rather than speak about Christ, the speakers essentially spoke about getting more people to do their duties, come to church, participate in activities, and pay tithing.
topic image
"Profit" / "Apostate" Oaks To Mormons In Eight States: You Were Warned; You're On Your Own
Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009, at 09:06 AM
Original Author(s): Troubled Wife
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
It is really up to the bishop as to how much help you can get from the wards, and bishops are under a lot of pressure from the higher ups!

Here's my experience:

as a kid, I didn't know any difference - I know my folks would occasionally get food orders, normally we didn't go with them, the food just showed up.

As a young, newly married, realizing we just were not making it, I went to the bishop for help - just food please, I've worked out a lot with our creditors....

I was told that we needed to quit our job (that we had looked for 6 months for, moved ourselves 1200 miles to accept, and dh was moving up the "chain"), and move back home with family (his folks were on church assistance for health reasons, his brother the church was paying to keep on a mission, his married sister and bil were between jobs... my side, I was the oldest and only one with a job, brother was incarcerated)! So, we wouldn't get any help from that bishop. So I refused to pay tithing (first time in my life). I needed that money to put a meager $25.00 a week on the table (my husband and myself) and diaper a newborn baby.

Three years later, I went to the state, and dh was making too much money for aide, so I went to the bishop again. He insisted we needed to pay tithing. So, I stopped paying the bills and paid tithing, only to be told that we weren't worthy enough to receive any help because we weren't being honest with our fellow men!

GOOD GAWD! I was visiting teaching his DIL.... she worked at a local big business, making what my dh made, married to a guy who worked for another big company making twice what my dh made, she only had two kids from a previous marriage. Every month that I visited her she would cry praises for the church's welfare program because with out it, she wouldn't be able to feed her kids! (DAMN! I had 3 by that time and had just realized I was too far along with #4 to do anything but have another baby!) While we lived in that ward, from that time on, I was inactive, refused to pay anything towards tithing, but craved the visits from my visiting teachers (we were never home-taught), and I never went back asking for help again either. I wasn't going to even be a burden on the ward when we had babies - I didn't let them know when I had my 4th baby, so no meals were brought in, no help with the kids was ever accepted (though as a young mom I sure could have used it), unless I paid a teen to help me.

Then the next ward that we got help in.... We had just bought a house, which because of the number of kids we had (6) we were actually saving $200/mo! My mother had died, my FIL had died. My father was out of work, my MIL was sewing her heart out to try and keep the lights on. Two weeks after we moved into our new house (a HUD repo with LOTS of work needed), dh's job unexpectedly lost funding. Lucky for us the big corporation had another position in another department for dh. BUT, it made us go 3 weeks without a paycheck. There just was no way.

So, I swallowed my "pride" and went to the bishop. Immediately I was told that we needed to sell our house! and go back to renting. There was no help for us! UMMMM, we were paying $200 LESS than renting because of the number of kids we had... and the $950 that we had been paying was finally breaking down and lying to a new landlord and saying we only had 3 kids! Selling was NOT an option! Last time I went to that bishop. We sucked up and put up with the bad credit scores that ensued because of the timing of pay checks... not fun.

Then, two years later, a new bishop, I was his wife's VT... somehow it got out that we were struggling. This bishop was an owner of a new string of stores - Whole Foods. Though we didn't qualify for church aid (we didn't pay tithing), he had a very kind heart. Every week, we would come home from work and find big baskets and boxes of fresh produce and farmer's goods. He may never know how much that meant to us, though he denied that he was the one who was delivering the goods (non-member neighbors told us it was a man in his truck that was delivering the food, so we knew it was him).

The next ward, we paid our tithing, much to the woes of my dh who has never had a "testimony" of tithing. Then, the dot com industry had a problem. We were in the ranks of the UNEMPLOYED - well, out of his consistent and constant paychecks. We went to the bishop. The first thing out of his mouth was to sell the house! Ummmm, where would we go - we had 8 kids! The next thing was to call on family - again, ummmmm, Nope, no go. Sure there was ONE family member who was willing to take us on... in her 1300 SF house with 4 other kids and an abusive husband! NO THANKS. We had to get letters from all our family explaining their living situation. GAWD, if that isn't awful!

Finally, he agreed that the church could provide us with food (I was still working by attending births), but ONLY if dh would really go out and get work. SHOOOT... do you know how many times I had to take our 3 ringed, 3 inch binder into the bishop's office? Yes, we documented every contact, every hour dh was looking for work!

After 5 months, I was told that they couldn't keep giving us food unless I went out and got a job with a consistent and constant paycheck (births were sporatic). So I did - but now my job didn't pay as much as the births had, so we NEEDED to have the house payment made - my job ONLY covered the utilities. They DID come through, it took 3 months, but they did finally come through...

BUT, then the stake pres told us that we needed to sell.... and he was even adamant as to whom we should sell our house to! An investor who lived in the Stake president's ward! NO THANK YOU! He had already contacted us and was only willing to buy from us for 1/3rd of what we owed...not even close to the $700K that the house would have sold for on the market at that time!

Well, of course the leaders that were insisted that we would loose the house and be on the street in no time. BUT, we were able to keep things going... finally landing DH a job with the largest private corporation selling handguns at the time (WALMART). Finally with dh's new pay, my pay we made 1/2 of what he had made previously...so I contacted our creditors again... got off of church financial assistance (and onto state aid for medical), and only used the bishop's storehouse (should have done the food stamps, but hind-sight is lots better than being in the moment).

13 months later, we FINALLY got a job paying more than he had made before he had been laid off. BUT, after all the "S#!T" we went through, we have decided that it will be a cold day in the tropics before we ever approach the bishop again, and we will NEVER go onto food help either. We'll grow it or get help elsewise if we find we are in need.

So, all this to say agree that when the Saints need help, as much as they may have paid into the system, the church probably WILL NOT pay them a dime or help them at all. There will definitely be boats of guilt heaped upon anyone who asks for any help. And well, the idea of having mortgages/rents utilities or other bills paid... when hell gets icy! You have a better chance of getting help from the state or the banking industry!
topic image
Oaks: We Should Follow The Spirit In Determining How Much We Shun Disobedient Children
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 09:06 AM
Original Author(s): Bamboom
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The Dalin H Oakes talk. I'm watching him harp on about 'law'. Not surprising since he's a lawyer. I met him once at the Edinburgh mission home when I was 18. He had that same pinched look then as well. While listening to him talk about this situation where 'good Mormon parents' are confronted with this dilemma of one of their kids living in non-married sin I noticed that he was talking about an abstract version of the situation according to law. Oh how difficult for these godly parents when this 'sinful kid' says, 'If you loved me you wouldn't judge me and you'd accept me as I am'...etc. etc. and blah blah.

What was missing was a recognition of the reality. These abstract 'good mormon parents' full of spiritual purity he was talking about don't exist. Most mormon parents have a huge trail of hypocrisy behind them, of their own hideous mistakes, their shady business dealings, their own pettiness, their own pick-and-mixing of church doctrines, their own spiritual failures, their own betrayals of their own ideas and their children, their own shabby behaviour.

What's missing is where the kid 'living in sin' says not, 'If you loved me you would accept me', but rather, 'Who the hell are you to lecture me given some of the things you've done? Who the hell do you think you are? Why don't spend more time addressing you're own shallowness and hyprocrisy instead of lecturing me? Come to think of it, there are a bunch of ways in which your own eternal temple marriage is a complete emotional sham in order to keep up appearances. Is that what you think I should be doing?'

But Oakes carefully avoids getting into that. In fact that's the problem with all these conference 'talks'. They're full of cherry-picked pearls of wisdom and high-sounding ideals but never address squarely real human life, and they always assume that faithful members or parents are somehow paragons of virtue who would have a right to pontificate the way they do from the tabernacle pulpit.

As for this arrogance from the pulpit, this pretended 'quietness' and this calm, patronising delivery style.....it's just so obvious how much it's a practised technique, all the techniques you pick up in cheesy business seminars that teach you how to 'win friends and influence people'. It's almost embarrassing. I can't help but notice how much the whole thing looks like a mini-me senate or congress, trying to ape the look of 'power' and 'authority' of government bodies, the same attempt to look very serious while dispensing quite shallow and hackneyed responses that utterly fail to address to the human existential situation as it actually is globally, rather than simply as it is in some kind of 50's Utah Sunday School Valley.
topic image
Rephrase Of Oaks
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 09:07 AM
Original Author(s): Sthilda87
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
God has a plan- known andamp; dispensed only through the LDS Church.

Mercy is only for those who stick to the plan.

God's love andamp; mercy is conditional.

Blessings are found only by obedience to the LDS Church.

If you make any mistakes, you have not been following HF's plan.

God loves you only when you are doing right.

Oaks andamp; Co know God's plan for you. You might think you know, but if you are not following LDS teachings, you are operating contrary to God's law.

God = Law = LDS Teachings

God's plan might Qualify us for eternity.

Blessings require Obedience.

Gifts are conditioned on Obedience. Love is conditioned on obedience.

Parents must rescue those of us who have wandered.

I don't know what compelled me to watch this oppressive double-think. Lately, I have been struggling mightily with what I believe about God, love, consequence, etc. So I imagine it's good that I watched this, because I've been away long enough, that I forgot how sneakily manipulative this LDS doctrine is.

I heard someone on this forum explain that the hardest thing for those of us who have left is to discern what we really believe vs what is indoctrination.

I have been struggling with my understanding of God, which is still muddied by LDS teachings.

The question for me - Is there a loving God? What do I know about a Higher Power, and what is just mental static, courtesy of TSCC?

Sometimes it seems so much easier to determine that no God exists. After all, wouldn't a loving God not allow the LDS church to exist, and to contaminate my mind with Oaksian garbage?

How am I supposed to proceed in faith, with all of this horse shiza in my head?

When it comes right down to it, I am just hoping that there is Something bigger, eternal, transcendent, and just bigger than me, and that love, mercy, truth and goodness are signs of His existence.

All of this talk of Law andamp; Justice andamp; Correction andamp; Discipline seems like transparent tools of control andamp; oppression.
topic image
More From Deceptive Dallin: What Oaks Has Said In Private, Vs. Public, About The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006, at 08:56 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
What Dallin Oaks Publicly Feeds the Masses About the Book of Mormon, Compared to What He Admits About It Behind Closed Doors

What does Mormon Apostle Dallin H. Oaks believe and speak in private about the foundation of the Book of Mormon, as contrasted to what he proclaims from behind the pulpit?

Has his public testimony always been in agreement with his private observations?

The comparisons should speak for themselves.
_____


Behind the Mormon Curtain with Oaks About the Book of Mormon

On 9 September 1993, my wife Mary Ann and I met with Oaks and fellow Apostle Neal A. Maxwell in Maxwell’s Salt Lake City Church office, where we discussed in some detail matters relating to Mormon doctrine, history and policy.

During the meeting, we took notes. Later the same day, after we had returned to our home in Arizona, we recorded our recollections.

Approximately six weeks after our meeting with Oaks and Maxwell--on 29 October 1993–Oaks spoke publicly on the Book of Mormon in a sermon entitled, “The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," which he delivered at the annual dinner for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in Provo, Utah.

For a text of his banquet remarks, see:

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=30andamp;table=transcripts

http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/bom/Oaks_Historicity.htm
_____


What follows is a compare-and-contrast examination of what Oaks told us in our private meeting with him and Maxwell concerning his views of the Book of Mormon, compared to what he publicly told the FARMS audience a few weeks later at their Provo banquet.

Pay particular attention to the similarities and, more interestingly, to the differences between Oaks’ private and public observations on the Book of Mormon--the keystone, supposedly, of his Mormon faith.
_____


Topic: Plagiarisms in the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

In our meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, Mary Ann began by explaining to them that she was sincerely trying to do what the Mormon Church had admonished its members to do: namely, study the scriptures.

She informed them that the more she examined Mormonism's scriptural texts, the more she found contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Mary Ann informed the two apostles that she was having a difficult time reconciling those contradictions. Therefore, she said, she decided to undertake her own personal study of the Book of Mormon--but from another point of view.

She took out a well-used, paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and showed Oaks and Maxwell what she had done with it.

Opening the book and thumbing through its pages, she demonstrated to them how she, in Seminary scripture study cross-referencing style, had color-coded the text for the Spaulding Manuscript, B.H. Roberts' study of parallels between Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon, the King James text of the Book of Isaiah and the King James text of the New Testament--with particular emphasis on the Book of Mormon timeline from 600 BC to 1 BC, when the words of the New Testament had not yet been written.

She then pointed out to Oaks and Maxwell 17 parallels she had discovered between the lives of the Book of Mormon prophet Alma and the New Testament apostle Paul.

She also directed their attention to wording in Alma's letters that was found in exactly the same language as that in Paul's. Mary Ann asked Oaks and Maxwell to explain to her how these things could find their way into the Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann said she noticed how Oaks jumped more eagerly at her question than did Maxwell and how he became quite animated during this portion of the discussion.

She also later noted to me that Oaks was, in some ways, "a little condescending" to her.

Oaks told Mary Ann, "Well, you know, as you've thumbed through your book, it only appears to me that 5% of your book has been marked, so I would say don't throw out the 95% because of the 5%. Don't take the 5% that you have serious questions about and cast out the 95% that is unexplained or, as Steve said, divinely inspired."

(In point of fact, I did not tell Oaks that I felt 95% of the Book of Mormon was divinely inspired, despite his claim to the contrary).

He continued (this time turning to me), "It's like being married to our wives. I'm sure there's more than 5% of me that my wife finds disagreement with, but she puts up with it anyway. It's kind of like being married to the Book of Mormon. Don't let your doubts keep you out of the mainstream."

Oaks and Maxwell challenged Mary Ann to read them something from the Spaulding Manuscript that she felt found parallel in the Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann initially chose an example in which Spaulding described fortresses and earthen banks defended by spikes placed at intervals apart from one another, in order to prevent arrows from coming through. (She later said to me she wished she had offered a better example. Nonetheless, she felt--and I agreed--that it was a comparison of substance).

Mary Ann showed Oaks a pamphlet authored by Vernal Holley, entitled, "Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look," which laid out, among other things, strikingly parallel word combinations between the Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon.

Oaks' response was that many of the comparisons were "insignificant" and "almost superficial." He dismissed them as being unimportant, arguing that they reflected general concepts which were typical of the day in which Joseph Smith lived.

I replied that I thought the precise ordering of the words in both texts seemed "more than coincidental." Oaks rejected that position. He insisted that the phrases in question represented "common ideas" one could share "across culture and time."

Further, he noted, there was no doctrinal content in the parallels. He asked, "Where's the doctrine? You've only shown me these technical points." I therefore mentioned that the doctrine of polygamy--which was expressly forbidden in the Book of Mormon unless specifically authorized by God--was also the same doctrine found in the Spaulding Manuscript--namely, that the practice was forbidden unless divine permission was granted.

I also pointed out to Oaks the shared centrality between the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding Manuscript in stories featuring a divine figure (Christ, in the Book of Mormon and Labanska, a great teacher in the Spaulding Manuscript).

I encouraged Oaks to read the Spaulding Manuscript for himself. Oaks, however, was dismissive of Spaulding's work and refused to take the offer seriously.

Oaks asked Mary Ann to demonstrate "another example" of "doctrinal evidence" for plagiarisms in Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann turned to Moroni 10, where it speaks of gifts of the spirit (To one is given one gift; to someone else is given another, etc). Mary Ann pointed out to Oaks that, verse for verse--comparing Moroni 10 to First Corinthians 12--the texts were almost exactly the same.

Oaks replied, "That's better," but refused to concede, adding, "Well, it's not word-for-word and it's not the whole chapter."

Mary Ann responded that--it except for some minor variations, such as the phrase, repeated over and over, "and again"--it was, for all intents and purposes, word-for-word.

She asked Oaks how he could explain that Moroni used the same language found in the King James version of the Bible, written hundreds of years after the Book of Mormon was recorded.

Oaks replied that he himself had had the same question while preparing a talk on gifts of the spirit, as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon and the New Testament.

Oaks said he concluded that all three authors were "impressed by the Holy Ghost" to record their thoughts "in this particular manner and in these particular words."
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"In these remarks I will seek to use rational argument, but I will not rely on any proofs. I will approach the question of the historicity of the Book of Mormon from the standpoint of faith and revelation. I maintain that the issue of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is basically a difference between those who rely exclusively on scholarship and those who rely on a combination of scholarship, faith, and revelation.

"Those who rely exclusively on scholarship reject revelation and fulfill Nephi's prophecy that in the last days men 'shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance' (2 Ne. 28:4).

"The practitioners of that approach typically focus on a limited number of issues, like geography or 'horses' or angelic delivery or nineteenth century language patterns. They ignore or gloss over the incredible complexity of the Book of Mormon record.

"Those who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation are willing to look at the entire spectrum of issues, content as well as vocabulary, revelation as well as excavation. "

_____


Topic: Book of Mormon Doctrines That Are Supposedly Not the Product of Plagiarisms, but of Divine Revelation

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks offered me some counsel of his own.

"You ought to go through the Book of Mormon, " he said, "and color in all the differences and emphasize the unique and special teachings of the Book of Mormon that don't have any similarities to other sources."

(However, Mary Ann's point for being at the meeting in the first place, as she herself said, was not to talk about or debate differences between the Book of Mormon and Spaulding texts; rather, she wanted to get answers regarding their similarities in areas of story lines, exact wording, etc).
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Scholarship and physical proofs are worldly values. I understand their value, and I have had some experience in using them. Such techniques speak to many after the manner of their understanding.

"But there are other methods and values, too, and we must not be so committed to scholarship that we close our eyes and ears and hearts to what cannot be demonstrated by scholarship or defended according to physical proofs and intellectual reasoning. . . .

"I admire those scholars for whom scholarship does not exclude faith and revelation. It is part of my faith and experience that the Creator expects us to use the powers of reasoning he has placed within us, and that he also expects us to exercise our divine gift of faith and to cultivate our capacity to be taught by divine revelation.

"But these things do not come without seeking. Those who utilize scholarship and disparage faith and revelation should ponder the Savior's question: 'How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?' (John 5:44)."

_____


Topic: God Has Not Yet Provided Final Proofs as to the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

After Oaks and Maxwell presented their respective defenses, Mary Ann again asked them how she should deal with the things she had found in her own Book of Mormon. At this point, Oaks and Maxwell said that the jury was still out.
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Another way of explaining the strength of the positive position on the historicity of the Book of Mormon is to point out that we who are its proponents are content with a standoff on this question.

"Honest investigators will conclude that there are so many evidences that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text that they cannot confidently resolve the question against its authenticity, despite some unanswered questions that seem to support the negative determination. In that circumstance, the proponents of the Book of Mormon can settle for a draw or a hung jury on the question of historicity and take a continuance until the controversy can be retried in another forum."

_____


Topic: The Weight of Evidence For and Against the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks and Maxwell, in their final assessment of evidentiary proof concerning the Book of Mormon, admitted to us that the arguments for and against the book were "equal," with neither side being able to prove whether the Book of Mormon was true or untrue. In the ultimate analysis, they told us, the Book of Mormon had to be accepted on faith.

I responded by telling them that I was attempting to examine both sides of the question and was not convinced that the pro-Book of Mormon side had the advantage.

To the contrary, I told them that I was inclined to believe the advantage lay with the book's critics. I said that because I did not regard the evidence on the Book of Mormon to be equally balanced, I therefore did not believe I was obligated to accept it on faith.

I also expressed the view that if, in fact, there was an evidentiary advantage to one side or the other, that should then allow for the person doing the investigating to make a decision as to Book of Mormon veracity--outside the realm of faith.

Oaks responded by again saying there was no evidence proving or disproving the Book of Mormon.

He placed his right hand over his heart and said, "I get this knot, this warm feeling right here, and that is what I go on."

Oaks told us that he had a conviction that the Book of Mormon was "true." He said that feeling of truthfulness came from a "personal witness."
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

". . . [I]t is our position that secular evidence can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Its authenticity depends, as it says, on a witness of the Holy Spirit.

"Our side will settle for a draw, but those who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon cannot settle for a draw. They must try to disprove its historicity--or they seem to feel a necessity to do this--and in this they are unsuccessful because even the secular evidence, viewed in its entirety, is too complex for that. . . .

"Speaking for a moment as one whose profession is advocacy, I suggest that if one is willing to acknowledge the importance of faith and the reality of a realm beyond human understanding, the case for the Book of Mormon is the stronger case to argue.

"The case against the historicity of the Book of Mormon has to prove a negative. You don't prove a negative by prevailing on one debater's point or by establishing some subsidiary arguments. "

_____


Topic: FARMS' Efforts to Emprically Prove the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks confessed that FARMS sometimes gets "hyperactive" in trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is true.

He said he becomes concerned when FARMS "stops making shields and starts turning out swords," because, he said, "you cannot prove the Book of Mormon out of the realm of faith."

Accepting the Book of Mormon, Oaks said, was ultimately a matter of faith.
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Brothers and Sisters, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation--for what you are doing.

"God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.

"The work that you do is important, it is well-known, and it is appreciated. "
topic image
The Spinning Seer - Or Dallin H. Oaks V's Mohandas K. Gandhi
Thursday, May 4, 2006, at 08:56 AM
Original Author(s): Grey Matter
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
20 years ago, I read a fascinating book, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, by Louis Fischer.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0006...

At the time, I really treasured the book, and I loved the man, Gandhi. I felt blessed for having read about him.

I figured that next to Jesus, Gandhi must be the greatest human being to walk the planet. That was in spite of the cult's teaching (and I was a devoted cult member at the time) that Joseph Smith was the greatest dude, next to Jesus.

Well, now in my 40's, I am the opinion that perhaps Gandhi is the greatest of them all (after all, if Jesus did live, he doesn't qualify for the contest, on account of Him being a God and all that).

Actually, perhaps there is no greatest. The human family is not a contest. And incidentally, if there is a league table, Joseph, in my view, is down at the bottom with the other low-life.

Anyway, back to Gandhi.

Gandhi was an English-educated lawyer - and a slightly unusual lawyer. When a client, who had committed an offence (criminal or civil), asked Gandhi to defend him in court, Gandhi would always counsel the client to plead guilty and accept the consequences. For Gandhi, truth, honesty and integrity were paramount. He would not defend a guilty man or woman - he would not lie on anyone's behalf.

Now consider Dallin H. Oaks.

Oaks is USA-educted lawyer, a justice of the Utah Supreme Court - and unfortunately, a slightly bent lawyer, actually the worst type. He was hired by the mormon cult to be a premanent peddler of deceit. For Oaks, truth, honesty and integrity are of little value. He will defend the guilty mormon cult, and has no problem lying on the cult's behalf.

It's funny, but the next time a vacancy for a lawyer crops up on the cult's board of 15 prophets, you can be sure they will never pick a Mohandas Gandhi, or a Bob McCue, or a T-Bone.

You can be certain they will pick a Dallin Oaks.

They need someone who can lie through their teeth.
topic image
The Legaleze Trapeze Of Dallin H. Hoax Vs. The Illegal Destruction Of The Nauvoo Expositor
Thursday, Feb 23, 2006, at 08:55 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks' Shameless Defense of the Outlaw Joseph Smith

Supreme manipulator, deceiver and Mormon hired gun Dallin H. Oaks authored an appallingly apologetic defense of Joseph Smith's 1844-ordered destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, entitled "The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor", published in the Utah Law Review, vol. 9 (Winter 1965), pp. 862-903.
_____


It was an order, by the way, which led directly to Smith buying the farm in a hail of bullets.

As authors Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley observe:

"[When Smith's opponents] founded a newspaper to denounce [him] from inside the holy city [of Nauvoo] itself, Smith took the fatal step of ordering the press destroyed.

“Two weeks later Smith, who had predicted his demise, was jailed . . . along with his brother . . . The jail was soon attacked, and Smith and his brother were shot to death.”


(Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power [New York, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984], pp. 42-43)
_____


Author Ernest H. Taves notes that, when all was said and shot, Smith had no one else to blame but himself for his fate:

”In the end, [when] the [Nauvoo] City Council declared that the Expositor was guilty of slander and was a nuisance ‘worse than a dead carcass’ and directed . . . mayor [Smith] to eliminate it[,] . . . [h]e did [and] in so doing, [made] perhaps the greatest mistake of his life. He ordered the city marshal and a detail from the [Nauvoo] Legion to destroy the press, pi the type in the street, burn all the papers in the establishment, and (if any resistance was offered to all this) to destroy the building that had housed the press. . . .

“When [William Law] returned [from Carthage to Nauvoo,] he rode through his pied typed, looked at the gutted building, and saw his furniture in the street.

“The stage was set for the final act.”


(Ernest H. Taves, Trouble Enough: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon [Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Press, 1984], pp. 202-03), emphasis added
____


Surprise, Surprise: The Mormon Church's Official Propaganda Arm FARMS Backs Oaks’ Defense of the Expositor’s Destruction

Falling back on Oaks' slippery defense of Smith's unlawful act, FARMS apologist Elden J. Watson justifies Smith's illegal order to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor in a review of the book, Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois, by John E. Hallwas and Roger D. Launius.

In typical fancy-fudging FARMS fashion, Watson predictably whines that the book in question is "anti-Mormon" but, just as predictably, fails to offer any fact-based refutation of the authors' premise--resorting, instead, to huffing and puffing in hyperbolic histrionics, as he merely refers his audience to Oaks' article, without bothering to go into any details:

"There is one more item I would like to comment on before closing. The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor is perhaps the keystone of the authors' presentation. It is one of the most reiterated and frequently mentioned topics throughout the volume.

“Time and time again the authors allude to this incident as the prime documented example of an illegal and aggressive action perpetrated by Joseph Smith and other leaders of the Church against a few upstanding and honorable men of the community who wanted nothing more than a reform of the Church.

"These claims were answered before they were ever raised, but because the primary legitimate and accepted scholarly assessment of the action taken against the Nauvoo Expositor does not agree with their presumptions, the authors discard it with a mere wave of the hand [quote]:

‘Dallin H. Oaks, former justice on the Utah Supreme Court and present apostle in the church, has tried to pound a square peg into a round hole in seeking to legitimate the clearly illegal act of destroying the Expositor in June 1844. See Dallin H. Oaks, "The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor," Utah Law Review, 9 (Winter 1965): 862-903. (p. 9 n. 6)'

"The authors' authority for dismissing forty pages of documentation, detailed legal examination, discussion, and findings by a former member of the Utah Supreme Court is that 'virtually everyone except the Latter-day Saints' considered it illegal at the time and that Governor Ford, 'as fair an individual as was present in the Mormon conflict,' called the action 'irregular and illegal, and not to be endured in a free country' (p. 9, n. 6).

"They make the additional unsupported assertion that [Illinois] Governor [Thomas] Ford was an authority on constitutional law, but neglect to indicate what bearing that may have on Elder Oaks's review.

"Oaks's review responds thoroughly and sufficiently to the legality of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor."


(Elden J. Watson,“Cultured Conflicts: History Served on the Half Shell,” at http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=reviewandamp;id=344

Oh, yeah? So you say.

Or, better yet, bray.
_____


Hold Your Horses There, FARMS: Oaks Actually Admits that Joseph Smith Unlawfully Ordered the Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor

In reality, Oaks himself admitted in the article to which Watson robotically refers that Smith broke the law in ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor:

"The characterization of the printing press as a nuisance, and its subsequent destruction, is another matter. The common law authorities on nuisance abatement generally, and especially those on summary abatement, were emphatic in declaring that abatement must be limited by the necessities of the case, and that no wanton or unnecessary destruction of property could be permitted. A party guilty of excess was liable in damages for trespass to the party injured. . . .

"[T]here was no legal justification in 1844 for the destruction of the Expositor press as a nuisance. Its libelous, provocative, and perhaps obscene output may well have been a public and a private nuisance, but the evil article was not the press itself but the way in which it was being used.

"Consequently, those who caused or accomplished its destruction were liable for money damages in an action of trespass."


(Oaks, "Suppression of Nauvoo Expositor, pp. 890-891), emphasis added
_____


In a separate and later examination, Oaks also admits that the Nauvoo Expositor was demolished, on orders of Smith, without the benefit of due process of law:

”[Smith] urged that the newspaper be declared a nuisance and destroyed without judicial process, a procedure supported by Blackstone. . . . “John Taylor, a city councilman and high-ranking church leader, agreed, saying that the Expositor ‘stinks in the nose of every honest man.’ . . .

“[Smith] won over most of the council. They passed an ordinance declaring the newspaper a public nuisance and issued an order to the mayor to have it abated. Joseph Smith, acting as mayor, ordered the city marshal to destroy the newspaper and press without delay and instructed the major general of the Nauvoo Legion to have the militia assist. Shortly [thereafter], citizens and legionnaires marched to the Expositor office and smashed the press, scattering the type as they did so.”


(Dallin H. Oaks and Marvin S. Hill, Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith [Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1976], p. 15), emphasis added
_____


But, Wait: Oaks Then Famously (and Faithfully) Flip-Flops

Despite his confession that Smith broke the law in ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, Oaks apparently can’t stay honest for long and ultimately contends/pretends that in other respects, Smith did not break the law:

First he writes:

"In view of the law discussed . . . in Blackstone, . . . [there] seems to have been sufficient to give the Nauvoo City Council considerable basis in the law of their day for their action in characterizing the published issues of the Nauvoo Expositor as a nuisance and in summarily abating them by destruction."

(“The Illegal Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor", at http://www.mormonismi.info/jamesdavid/postin17.htm )
_____


Oaks' Unenlightened and Unlawful Reading of the Law

There are significant problems, however, with Oaks' above excuses, as noted below:

"Oaks' position is that the First Amendment didn't apply to the suppression of the Expositor because the doctrine of 'incorporation' (which was developed during the New Deal era) wasn't in force at the time. So state and local governments, such as the Nauvoo City Council, weren't [Oaks claims] bound by the First Amendment.

"There are two BIG problems with this defense. First, the Nauvoo Charter (which is available on-line) EXPRESSLY incorporated the U.S. and Illinois State Constitutions, with their respective protections of the freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc.

"So Oaks' legal argument is a tissue of sheer sophistry.

"Second, Oaks and other Morg leaders persist in upbraiding President Van Buren for his statement: 'Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you,' as if this were a cowardly dereliction of duty.

"But Van Buren was right: He could only have intervened in Missouri on the application of the state government for help in quelling an insurrection.

"Why is this important? Simple: Oaks' claim that the suppression of the Expositor was constitutional and legal rests on a strict federalist interpretation of the Constitution (allowing for Oaks' dishonest treatment of the Nauvoo Charter).

"The same is true of Van Buren's infamous statement. So, strict federalism would justify mob action by Mormons, but supposedly wouldn't justify Washington's refusal to quell mob action against them."


("Oaks, Smith and the Constitution," authored by "Will,"
14 March 2003, at http://www.salamandersociety.com/foyer/prophets/dallinhoaks/ ; and "Nauvoo Charter," at http://www.nauvoo.com/charter.html ), original emphasis
_____


The Nauvoo Expositor and the U.S. Constitution: Both Nuisances to Joseph Smith

The patent illegality of the Nauvoo City Council's action in ordering (on Smith's command] the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press is beyond serious debate, despite what Deceptive Dallin wants others to believe. Smith's destruction of the Expositor press clearly violated the U.S. Constitution, as acknowledged by Brigham Young University’s own website:

"With the powers granted by the [Nauvoo] city charter, they [the City Council] declared the newspaper a nuisance, as they felt its declarations threatened the security of the city. They authorized the mayor (Joseph Smith) to see that the nuisance was abated.

"[Smith] instructed the city marshal to abate the nuisance which he and his men accomplished by breaking into the printing shop, throwing the press into street where it was smashed with a sledge hammer, dumping the type into the street, and burning the undistributed copies of the newspaper.

"Such an extra-legal method of abating a newspaper was not without precedent in Illinois (though not in keeping with long established practices concerning abatement of a public press), but it was viewed as a violation to the federal Constitution which forbids destruction of property without due process of law. The city council had only the authority to abate the nuisance by suspending further publication of the paper pending a court hearing which would determine whether it was a public nuisance.

"The proprietor of the paper went to Carthage and swore out a warrant for the 18 members of the City Council, charging that they had violated the federal Constitution by destroying property with the resultant implication of 'suppression of the freedom of the press.'

"In response to the charge, 15 members of the Nauvoo City Council appeared before the justice of the peace in Carthage on Tuesday, June 25, and were bound over to the next term of the circuit court on bail of $500 each. Jointly they posted $7500 in bonds . . .

"[The Smiths], however, remained in Carthage to have an interview with Governor Ford. While awaiting audience with him, they were arrested on charges of treason and rioting for having used some of the Nauvoo Legion to assist the town marshal in the destruction of Expositor equipment. For this charge they were committed to the Carthage jail that afternoon.
"


("The Nauvoo Expositor Office Which Joseph Smith Destroyed," quoted from BYU’s website, at http://www.lds-mormon.com/06.shtml )
_____


Contrary to claims often advanced by Mormons defending the indefensible actions of Smith against the Nauvoo Expositor, the city of Nauvoo--despite its supposedly all-powerful municipal charter--was not a sovereign entity. Therefore, Nauvoo (meaning its mayor/council form of government) was ultimately subordinate to laws of the state of Illinois, as well as to those of the nation, as embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

As one student of the subject observes:

"Nauvoo was not a 'sovereign entity.' It was a city just like any other, and was subordinate to the laws and authority of Hancock County, which seat was at Carthage. That's why, after Smith ordered the Expositor press destroyed, its owners went to Carthage to file charges; lawmen from Carthage attempted to enter Nauvoo to arrest Smith; and Smith eventually submitted to arrest at Carthage.

"Nauvoo was most certainly not a 'theocracy independent of the state of Illinois.' Joseph Smith andamp; Co. may have secretly planned for it to be that way, but it certainly was not true, legally speaking. Mayor Joseph Smith could not legally 'pardon himself if he broke the law.' In fact, it was his abuse of state and federal laws which led to his arrest and murder. And Smith's illegal pardoning of other criminals in Nauvoo added fuel to the flames.

Even [Mormon historian] B.H. Roberts noted that the Nauvoo Charter allowed nothing that was 'inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, and the State Constitution of Illinois.' (The Rise and Fall of Nauvoo, p. 80.)

"No municipal laws can override state laws, and no state laws can override federal laws. . . .

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.mormon/msg/f1164576b5d92e3c"


("Nao crer, please read . . .," post by "Randy J.," Recovery from Mormonism board, 23 February 2006, at [RFM LINK REMOVED]
_____


Unable to deny the actual facts concerning the Nauvoo City Charter, the LDS-biased and ?published Encyclopedia of Mormonism acknowledges that it was ultimately subject to the overriding authority of the Illinois and federal constitutions:

”The Nauvoo document . . . was much like the charters of other Illinois cities. . . .

“One important provision stated that the Nauvoo Council could pass any ordinance not repugnant to the constitutions of the United States or to that of Illinois. . . . Ordinances passed by the Nauvoo Council could be in direct violation or disregard of state law and still be valid in Nauvoo, provided they did not conflict with specific powers granted by the federal and state constitutions. Leaders of the city militia, known as the Nauvoo Legion, and the [U]niversity [of the City of Nauvoo] trustees could also pass laws, limited only by state and federal constitutions.”


Which is a big “only.”

(James I. Kimball, Jr., “Nauvoo Charter,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism: : The History, Scriptures, Doctrine, and Procedures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 3 [New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992], p. 994), emphasis added
_____


Even Mormon Historians Disagree with Oaks on This One

Moreover, despite Oaks' mischievous misdirects, BYU history professor Thomas G. Alexander has explicitly and publicly acknowledged that there existed " no legal justification for the destruction of the [Nauvoo Expositor] press, and the proprietors might have sued the council for recovery of the machine's value."

(Thomas Alexander, "The Church and the Law," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 1, Summer 1966, pp. 123-24), emphasis added
______


Even apologetic LDS historians harboring obvious sympathies for scoundrel Smith--such as Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton--acknowledge his panicked rush to judgment over the publication of the Expositor’s damning revelations, while also noting that alternatives to the newspaper’s destruction were available:

”In the spring of 1844 . . . a small group of Mormon dissidents [in Nauvoo] founded a counter-organization and began publishing the . . . Expositor. They got out only one issue . . . which contained inflammatory allegations about the sex lives of the Mormon leaders and members.

“Smith, who was mayor, his brother Hyrum, vice-mayor, and the City Council, citing Blackstone on a community’s right to abate as a nuisance anything that disturbs the peace, declared the newspaper libelous and a public nuisance endangering civil order, and directed the city marshal to destroy that issue and the press.

“Some had argued for merely fining the libelers simply burning the papers, but Smith said he would ‘rather die tomorrow and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy . . . and bringing death and destruction upon us.’ The Council, which included at least one non-Mormon, concurred.

Nothing could have provided better ammunition for the anti-Mormons in Illinois . . . Although suppression of inflammatory periodicals was not without precedent and abatement of a nuisance was within the powers of the city council, leaders of the anti-Mormon party were quick to raise the issue of freedom of the press.”


(Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints [New York, New York: Alfred A,[, Knopf, 1979], pp. 77-78), emphasis added
_____


Adding fuel to the Expositor fire, former assistant Mormon Church historian under Arrington, James B. Allen, admitted that Smith "acted illegally" in ordering the destruction of the newspaper:

". . . [W]hen Joseph Smith ordered the actual destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press, he provided his enemies with a clearly legitimate means of arresting him for violation of the law. They seized upon this to inflame the public even more, and this led directly to [his] assassination.

"Some people may be disturbed by the suggestion that Joseph Smith acted illegally in this instance, but it is important to understand that under the tense pressures of the times he, too, may have made a mistake."


(James B. Allen, Brigham Young University Today, March 1976, p.10, quoted in Jerald and Sandra Tanner, “Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor: Answering Dr. Clandestine. A Response to the Anonymous LDS historian,” at http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/clndest8.htm ). emphasis added
_____


Allen, together with fellow Mormon historian Glen M. Leonard, also (albeit reluctantly and not surprisingly, since they were writing under the guiding influence of the LDS Church Historical Department) noted that the Nauvoo City Council ultimately exceeded–at least in certain respects--its legal authority in its questionable decision to have the Expositor demolished:

The councilmen suspended one of their own members, non-Mormon Sylvester Emmons, who was editor of the Expositor, and discussed the identity of the publishers and the intent of the newspaper.

“After analyzing legal precedents and municipal codes, the Council decided the paper was a public nuisance that had slandered individuals in the city. . . . [T]he Council acted under the nuisance ordinance. The mayor, Joseph Smith, then ordered the city marshal to destroy the press, scatter the type, and burn available papers. Within hours the order had been executed. The publishers, ostensibly fearing for their personal safety, fled to Carthage, where they obtained an arrest warrant against the Nauvoo City Council on a charge of riot.


Allen and Leonard then seek to defend the shaky constitutionality of the Council’s command decision to destroy the newspaper press:

“The Council had acted legally in its right to abate a nuisance, though contemporary legal opinion allowed only the destruction of published issues of an offending paper, not the destruction of the printing press itself. The city fathers had not violated the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, though they had probably erred in violating property rights.

(James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Published in Collaboration with the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1976], p. 192), emphasis added
_____


Then-Mormon and noted historian Fawn M. Brodie, is far less reluctant to point out the breathtakingly unconstitutional nature of Smith’s un-American assault on the Expositor:

”Calling together the City Council, [Smith] ordered a trial, not of the apostates, but of the Expositor itself. It was a strange, high-handed proceeding. There were no jury, no lawyers, no witnesses for the defense. The councilors simply stood up, one after another, and accused the editors of seduction, pandering, counterfeiting, and thievery. . . .

“Then he went on to add . . . to his list of denials of polygamy . . .

“The City Council now declared that the press was libelous and must be destroyed. [Smith] issued a proclamation declaring it a civic nuisance; a portion of the Legion marched to the office, wrecked the press, pied the type, and burned every issue of the hated paper that could be found. . . .

. . . [F]or [Smith] . . . to indulge in [the] sport [of destroying an Illinois newspaper was] . . . a violation of the holy Constitution. It was a greater breach of political and legal discipline than the anti-Mormons could have hoped for. Joseph could not have done better for his enemies, since he had at last given them a fighting moral issue.
"

Brodie then describes the response Illinois Governor Ford’s reaction to Smith’s unabashed law-breaking:

”When Thomas Ford learned of the burning of the Expositor, he went directly to Carthage for an investigation, determined to call out the militia if necessary to bring the offenders to justice. . . . Ford wrote to the prophet demanding that he and everyone else implicated in the destruction of the Expositor submit immediately to the Carthage constable and come to that city for trial. . . .

“. . . Ford brought a discriminating and sensitive intelligence and a stubborn loyalty for the law. . . .

“Ford himself came to the [Carthage] jail and talked with the prophet for several hours. . . . They argued back and forth, testing each other’s sincerity and strength . . . [ending up in strong disagreement on] the wrecking of the Expositor.

“’The press in the United States is looked upon as the great bulwark of American freedom,’ Ford insisted [to Smith], ‘and its destruction in Nauvoo was represented and looked upon as a high-handed measure, and manifests to the people a disposition on your part to suppress the liberty of speech and of the press.'”


(Fawn B. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet [New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983], pp. 377, 388-89), emphasis added
_____


LDS historian Donna Hill describes succinctly the wayward activities of Smith that led to his untimely demise:

”About two weeks before his death he had defied the sacred American precept of freedom of the press by demolishing an opposition newspaper . . . the Nauvoo Expositor, on the grounds that it was libelous and a public nuisance.”

Hill then explains Smith’s twisted thinking, where he decided that allowing the Nauvoo Expositor to continue publishing its embarrassing revelations would interfere with Smith’s grandiose plans to, among other things, take over the world and impose a Mormon theocracy:

"[Smith's]. . . tolerance . . . of the continued publication of . . . the newspaper would [have] disrupt[ed] the harmony of his religious community, endanger[ed] his candidacy for the highest office in the land, threaten[ed] the establishment of the political kingdom of God and, in short, dash[ed] all his dearest hopes.

"To suppress his enemies and their newspaper would [have been] a violation of those principles of freedom on which he was now so vigorously campaigning for office.

"To sue the paper for libel over issues that were already charged with emotion [such as Smith's 'moral imperfections,' i.e., polygamy] would [have] expose[d] him to sensational publicity, even if he should win, which was not likely. To lose such a suit would [have] endanger[ed] the city charter and might [have] result[ed] in the dissolution of the city government, or its assumption by dissenters."


What, then, to do?

Smith chose to simply ignore the U.S. Constitution:

"In a session [of the Nauvoo City Council], [Smith] read aloud and denied the charges in the Expositor. He declared that the Constitution did not authorize the publication of libel. . . . Hyrum Smith pronounced the paper a nuisance. Another councilman defined 'nuisance' as anything that disturbed the peace . . . Another councilor found and cited a passage in Blackstone on public wrongs.

"Hyrum suggested that the best solution would be to smash the press and pie the type.

"One councilor by the name of Warrington, a non-Mormon, proposed instead that the council levy a fine of $3,000 for every libel, but [Joseph] Smith protested that not would dare to go to Carthage to prosecute, and that his own life had been threatened there.

"The council found the Expositor guilty of libel, declared it a public nuisance and directed [Smith], as mayor, to have the nuisance removed. [Smith] immediately ordered the marshal, with the aid of troops under Jonathan Dunham, acting major general of the Nauvoo Legion, to destroy the press. . . .

"[That] same day . . . the marshal and a contingent of the Legion marched out at [Smith's] order and wrecked the press, broke down what had been set up . . ., spilled the type into the street and burned every printed sheet in the office."


The Governor of Illinois was not pleased.

Hill writes:

"[In a subsequent meeting with Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage, Governor Ford] . . . came to the conclusion that the proceedings of the Nauvoo City Council, court and mayor had been illegal on many counts . . .

"In [a] message [delivered to Joseph Smith] and the City Council . . . Ford said:

"'I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it.

"'There are many newspapers in this state which have been wrongfully abusing me [Ford] for more than a year, and yet such is my regard for the liberty of the press and the rights of a free people in a republican government that I would shed the last drop of my blood to protect those presses from any illegal violence.’

"Ford continued that the Mormons had violated at least four principles of the Constitution: that the press should be free, that proprietors of a libelous press may be brought to trial but had the right to give evidence, that the people should not be subject to search and seizure of their property without due process and that there should be no union of legislative and judicial powers in the same body. . . .

“[Joseph and Hyrum Smith], John Taylor, Porter Rockwell, William W. Phelps and thirteen other members of the Nauvoo City Council were [eventually] charged with riot in destroy the . . . and were released on bond of five hundred dollars each, to appear at the next term of the circuit court.


(Donna Hill, Joseph Smith, the First Mormon: The definitive story of a complex man and the people who knew him (Garden City, New York: Doubleday andamp; Company, 1977], pp. 2, 393-95, 399-400, 402, 410), emphasis added
_____


Mormon writer William E. Bennett admits that Smith’s criminal assault on the offices of a free press resulted in his ultimate undoing:

”’[The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor] proved to be the spark which ignited all the smoldering fires of opposition into one great flame . . . The cry that the ‘freedom of the press’ was being violated, united the factions seeking the overthrow of the Saints as perhaps nothing else would have done.’ . . ."

After citing Bennett, author Richard Abanes further details the legal entanglements now closing fast around Smith:

In response to Smith’s actions, those opposing the Mormon prophet filed a complaint against him in Hancock County, Illinois, claiming that Smith had violated the freedom of the press. Smith was arrested, but quickly tried in Nauvoo and released. The opposition immediately accused Smith of manipulating the law. Suddenly, the familiar thread of mob violence surrounded Nauvoo. Smith declared martial law . . . and put his troops on full alert.

Illinois Governor Ford then stepped into the situation, demanding that Smith give himself up to be tried in Carthage, Illinois. But [Smith], along with his brother, Hyrum, decided instead to flee into Iowa. Once there, however, they began to have misgivings about running from the law.

“First, they had abandoned their flock, which produced in them a significant degree of guilt.

Second, their presence in Iowa did not insure their safety since that territory’s governor had never agreed to ignore Missouri’s extradition order for Smith on [an] old charge of treason.

“Third, Smith’s departure had left the Saints with virtually no leadership since many of the loyal apostles were away on missions.

“Fourth, a messenger informed Smith that the Nauvoo Legion had divided between those who wanted to defend the city and those who wanted to flee.

So back across the Mississippi both he and Hyrum journeyed, continuing on to Carthage, where they were placed in the town’s jailhouse.”


(Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church[New York, New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002], p. 198), emphasis added
_____


Even the LDS -biased and -published Encyclopedia of Mormonism has been forced to admit that Smith’s illegal assault on the offices of a free press provided ample reason for his arrest:

[Smith’s prompt order to] the city marshal to destroy the press and burn all the copies of the paper . . . justified or not, played into the hands of the opposition. It riled anti-Mormon sentiment throughout Hancock County and provided substance for the charges used by the opposition to hold Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail, where he was murdered on June 27, 1844.”

(Reed C. Durham, Jr., “Nauvoo Expositor,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 3, p. 997), emphasis added
_____


Indeed, the “substance” to which Mormonism’s Encyclopedia blandly refers was broadly outlined in the Nauvoo Expositor--that is, before Smith destroyed the press in a futile attempt to cover up the illegal and immoral acts of himself and his associates--and which was subsequently followed by the destruction of other private property owned by those who had published the newspaper. These acts of lawlessness quickly formed the legal justification for the arrest and imprisonment of Smith at Carthage:

”On June 7th, 1844, the first and only edition of the Nauvoo Expositor was published. This paper exposed polygamy and some of the other illegal activities of Church leaders. Smith ordered this printing press destroyed. He also ordered all copies of this newspaper to be confiscated and burned.

“The next day a mill and some other buildings belonging to the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, and others who printed the Nauvoo Expositor were also destroyed. These men and their families who dared to question Smith’s unlimited power were forced to flee Nauvoo for their lives! Smith and his outlaws were on a rampage.

“Soon after the Nauvoo Expositor incident, several warrants were issued by state and county authorities for the arrest of Joseph [and] Hyrum [Smith], and a number of other Church leaders. Charges included treason against the State of Illinois, polygamy, adultery, resisting arrest, destruction of property, and perjury.

“These new charges, in addition to . . . old Ohio and Missouri charges along with [an] outstanding warrant for high treason by the President of the United States certainly justify calling Smith an ‘outlaw.’
Unfortunately, Smith was turned into a martyr before he could stand trial for his crimes.”


(Arza Evans, The Keystone of Mormonism [St. George, Utah: Keystone Books, Inc., 2003], p. 162), emphasis added
_____


Non-Mormon Historians Also Conclude That Smith Violated the Law in Ordering the Demolition of the Nauvoo Expositor

Noted journalists Richard N. and Joan K. Ostling, dispassionately report the events surrounding the irrational and illegal trashing of the Expositor on the orders of a deeply desperate Smith:

”In the context of the times, and for dissidents [in Nauvoo] who had been denied a public forum, [the Expositor’s] writers were relatively restrained in their wording. The paper advanced a desire for a ‘reformation in the Church,’ ‘hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, striking this blow at tyranny and oppression.’

“It argued against polygamy, political intrigue, ‘false doctrines’ such as the ‘doctrine of many Gods’ preached in Smith’s [King] Follett sermon, the habeas corpus provision of the city charter, Smith’s participation in Nauvoo land speculation, and acknowledgment of ‘any man as king or law-giver to the church, for Christ is our only king and law-giver.’

“Robert Foster and William and Jane Law included signed affidavits that they had read the text of the prophet’s secret revelation on plural marriage, and that [Smith’s] brother Hyrum had introduced the revelation in secret council.

“An emergency meeting of Nauvoo’s city council was called . . . Since polygamy was not legal in Illinois (and not publicly acknowledged by the church until 1852 from the safe vantage point of Utah), Hyrum Smith blandly reaffirmed past official denials of plural marriage, assuring the council that his brother’s 1843 revelation was not for modern times; it referred only to ancient days. Therefore, the Expositor had libeled Smith.

“The Expositor, of course, was a clear threat to the prophet’s control of Nauvoo. In addition to the publicly denied polygamy, some of Smith’s political activities represented a radical break from the normal parameters of Jacksonian democracy: Smith knew that someone had betrayed him by giving information to Foster and Law. . . . But [Smith], as mayor of Nauvoo, declared action was essential because the Expositor faction would ‘destroy the peace of the city’ and foment a ‘mob spirit.’”


The Ostlings then cut Smith an undeserved break, but still leave him a criminal:

“With the backing of his Council, Smith ordered that the new paper be smashed and all possible copies of the press run destroyed. The spirit of the Bill of Rights may thus have been grossly violated, but technically, under Illinois law at the time and Nauvoo’s charter, the only crime committed by Smith . . . was a violation of privacy rights. The following day Law was informed of a murder plot against him and his associates. Aware of the prophet’s security forces and the well-armed Legion, Law and Foster fled with their families from Nauvoo.

Then, commenting on how the Mormon Church has historically misrepresented the events surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, the Ostlings describe the brash LDS propaganda film, “Legacy,” which became a popular, featured fixture for faithful Mormons flocking to Temple Square:

”Smith dies off-camera with someone crying, ‘They’ve killed him! They’ve murdered Joseph Smith at the Carthage Jail!’ There is no scene that shows the smashing of the Expositor press or gives a real clue to the issues raised by the newspaper. The drama and scenery of the trek are so beautifully photographed that many Mormons [saw] the movie over and over, every time they visit[ed] Temple Square.”

(Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, [San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999], pp. 15-16, 242), emphasis added
_____



A Prominent Resident of Nauvoo At the Time of the Expositor’s Destruction Expresses Uncertainty Over the Legality of Smith’s Demolition Order

Historian H. Michael Marquardt sets the scene:

”Joseph Smith . . . commanded the city marshal to destroy the printing press, pi the type in the street, and burn all the Expositor papers.

“William Clayton reported:

“’The city council passed a resolution declaring the printing press on the hill a “nuisance” and ordered it destroyed, in not moved in three hours notice. About sundown the police gathered at the Temple . . . and after organizing, proceeded to the office and demolished the press and scattered the type.’

“Vilate Kimball wrote to her [Mormon apostle] husband Heber about the activities of that day:

“’Nauvoo was a scene of confusion last night. Some [one] hundred of the Brethren turned out and burned the printing press, and all the apparatus pertaining to the office of the opposite party; this was done by order of the City Council. They had only published one paper, which is considered a public nuisance, but I do not know whether it will be considered so in the eyes of the Law or not. They have sworn revenge, and no doubt they will have it.’”


(H. Michael Marquardt, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844 [Longwood, Florida: Xulon Press, 2005], pp. 632-33), emphasis added
_____


Giving Oaks the Benefit of the Doubt, He Still Comes Up Empty-handed and Empty-headed

Even if, as some have suggested, existing law in 1844 was unclear on the matter of the legality of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, it was nonetheless a matter of law at the time that the city of Nauvoo would have required Illinois state sanction in order to take action against the newspaper:

"Even without an [authorizing city] ordinance, . . . the city of Nauvoo could have relied upon the long-existing common law doctrines of nuisance and libel. The city might also have acted upon the common law of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use.

"Such a taking, however, would have required, under the Illinois 'Takings Clause,' that the taking be approved by the Illinois general assembly, . . . that just compensation be given (Art. VIII, clause 11)."


("Nauvoo Expositor," at "Wikipedia," http://www.answers.com/topic/nauvoo-expositor ), emphasis added
_____


Summing Up Smith: Damn the Constitution, Full Speed Ahead

As Loren Franck writes in his "Ten Lies I Told as a Missionary:"

"It did not matter that they [the Nauvoo City Council] did not have legal authority to [destroy the presses of the Nauvoo Expositor. . . .

“It did not matter that the sole reason for declaring it a 'public nuisance' was that it publicly dared to state that Joseph Smith was a polygamist and had established a political Kingdom of God on earth, both of which were true. . . .

“The press had to go and the Mayor, conveniently none other than Joseph Smith himself, saw to it with a vengeance."


(Loren Franck, “Ten Lies I Told as a Missionary,” at http://newsletters.cephasministry.com/mormonism_03_03.html ), emphasis added
_____


Sigh . . .

It must be tough being a Mormon apologist when there is so much to apologize for.
topic image
Dallin Oaks--The Overblown, The Underwhelming And The Nonprincipled
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, at 08:55 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks, the shameless excuse-maker for Joseph Smith, the press-destroying criminal--should be regarded as a profound embarrassment to those solidly grounded in the legal profession.

http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_st...
_____


Lying Lawyer for the Lord

This, despite Neal Maxwell's posterior-kissing boast to me in September 1993 (in the presence of Oaks whose favor he was also shamelessly currying) that he (Maxwell) had been instrumental in getting Oaks called into the Quorum of the Twelve because, Maxwell said, the Church needed Oaks' legal expertise.

This was the same conversation in which Oaks privately confessed to me that Boyd K. Packer was out of his league (as well as out of bounds) when Packer intervened in the excommmunication of Paul Toscano; that it was Oaks'--not Packer's--responsibility to handle matters of Church discipline, as he (Oaks) had been chosen to rewrite the rules in the Church Handbook of Instructions; that, thanks to Packer, Toscano would probably sue the Mormon Church for violation of Toscano's ecclesiastical rights; and that Packer was ultimately a "grizzly bear" who could not be "stage managed."

Oaks then preceeded to lie about Packer's involvement in Toscano's ecclesiastical execution (on the record, no less) to a newspaper reporter during the public controversy surrounding the LDS hierachy's ham-handed hanging of the "September Six."
_____


Subpoena? We Don't Need to Honor No Stinkin' Subpoena

Oaks also admitted to me in personal conversation that the Mormon Church had purposely decided not to cooperate with the Salt Lake City police department's investigation of the Mark Hofmann murders, by refusing to honor a subpoena calling for the turnover to the SLPD of the papers of William McClellin.

In this regard, Oaks told me that the Church had unilaterally decided that police detectives didn't need what the LDS Church had in its possession because, he claimed, the papers that the Church controlled were from McClellin's earlier, believing days and not from his later apostate period.

Oaks told me, as well, that the Mormon Church--even if it wanted to--could not have cooperated with Salt Lake law enforcement on its subpoena because the order from the Salt Lake police for the McClellin documents was made at a time when the General Authorities were out of the office on scheduled vacation, thus leaving, Oaks claimed, no one to make an authorized decision on whether or not to assist the police.

Oaks also informed me, curiously, that it was only later--when the LDS Church supposedly actually examined the papers in the McClellin collection--that it realized the collection's contents were not germaine to the Hofmann police investigation.

The trouble is, Oaks had told me that the Mormon Church already was aware of the collection's contents when it refused to cooperate with the subpoena--because it had concluded they were not relevant to the Hofmann investigation and therefore off-limits to the police for purposes of their criminal probe.
_____


Scraping the Bottom of the Barrister's Barrel

This is the man--Dallin Oaks--whom the LDS Church picks for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as its premier legal beagle.

Good gawd.

Is this the best the Mormons can do--appoint a consumate, amoral apologist?

Apparently, obviously and predictably so.

Dallin Oaks is a hired gun of modest legal skills, excessive ego and stunted morals--a person whose professional abilities have been overhyped by Mormons desperate for someone with supposed "smarts" to carry their kooky and corrupt banner.

An individual who, corrupted by power, has prostituted his personal conscience, sullied his judicial career and brought shame upon the legal profession in order to further his own interests, in calculated alignment with those of the Mormon Cult--the latter which butters his bread and provides him a position of authority within a primitive, patriarchal, outcast caste system where he is worshipped and followed in odd awe by the blindly obedient.


In short, Dallin Oaks might best be regarded as a jurist's and a gentleman's joke.
topic image
Dallin Oaks - Legal Polygamy As The Mormons See It
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005, at 08:54 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
For those who say polygamy is "behind us" or "not doctrinal" or a "blip of history" let me quote Dallin Oaks at a BYU devotional, Jan 29, 2002:

"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."
topic image
The Weirdest Talk In Modern GC History: Dallin Oaks' "Language Of Prayer"
Tuesday, May 31, 2005, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I'm a big fan of everyone's right to say stupid things. In fact, I myself have said a lot of stupid things on here. The worst was when I incorrectly announced that my prophecy that the "principal ancestors" phrase would be eliminated from future editions of the BOM had been fulfilled in the new Doubleday version, when it hadn't. It was still there, but I'd missed it reading over the intro in the bookstore. It can be mortifying to have to eat your shorts any time, but since we all make mistakes, and hopefully, all wish to learn, I think it's just part of life.

So, I don't hold think there is anything particularly unusual, or even wrong, about anyone, including Dallin Oaks, saying silly things once in awhile. (After all, the only reason why someone might say far fewer silly things than average would be if they were a "special witness" of, with special access to, the faultless, omniscient mind of a deity, like the ascended Jesus of Nazareth.) Often times, silly comments lead to serious discussion where new insights are made. And of course, silly comments sometimes turn out not to be so silly upon inspection.

But that brings us to what may be the weirdest talk in modern General Conference history, Dallin Oaks' "Language of Prayer" talk. There are so many internal contradictions and problems with this talk, that a full critique of it would be a couple of times the length of the original talk. But since a few people asked me last week for a few comments after this talk came up on a thread that I started, here are a few. (The full text of this talk can be read at www.lds.org, May 1993 Ensign).

It is easy to imagine that addressing the Creator of the universe, the embodiment of all righteousness and perfection, should impel us to use language different from that which we use to talk to goldfish or prison inmates. It is all the more significant, then, what a hash Elder Oaks makes of his defense of it.

For example, he writes:

andgt;andgt; The special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same. We should address prayers to our Heavenly Father in words which speakers of that language associate with love and respect and reverence and closeness. The application of this principle will, of course, vary according to the nature of a particular language, including the forms that were used when the scriptures were translated into that language. Some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns and verbs used only in addressing family and very close friends. Other languages have honorific forms of address that signify great respect, such as words used only when speaking to a king or other person of high rank. Both of these kinds of special words are appropriately used in offering prayers in other languages because they communicate the desired feelings of love, respect, reverence, or closeness.

Question: How does it make sense to say that the “special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same”? What principle? Oaks says that in prayer, “some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns?other languages have ‘honorific forms’” but that "BOTH...ARE APPROPRIATELY USED". Huh? Familiar forms of address, versus formal forms, are opposites. What “principle” could erase the very distinction on which his entire talk depends for its point? This is totally bizarre. If it is true that different languages use either the formal or informal in addressing God, and then he says that that's appropriate, on what grounds is he arguing that in English, we shouldn't use "you"? WHAT PRINCIPLE?

Oaks writes that "thou" and "thee", etc., constitute "dignified" language. But then he writes this:

andgt;andgt;The special language of prayer that Latter-day Saints use in English has sometimes been explained by reference to the history of the English language. It has been suggested that thee, thou, thy, and thine are simply holdovers from forms of address once used to signify respect for persons of higher rank. But more careful scholarship shows that the words we now use in the language of prayer were once commonly used by persons of rank IN ADDRESSING PERSONS OF INFERIOR POSITION...These same English words were also used in communications between persons in an intimate relationship." (That is, they constituted the informal form).

So, according to Elder Oaks, we should use "thou" because it is more "dignified", AND, according to Elder Oaks, "thou" is NOT more dignified, because (as most people interested in English know), it actually IS the now obsolete informal, intimate form of address - exactly the one people did use to address golfish and criminals with, 500 years ago. How does this make sense? Oaks says in effect, "'thou' is formal" AND "'thou' is informal".

How does Oaks get around this obstacle to his argument? Very easily. He simply ends up declaring, as though hopefully to make the conundrums he gets himself into in this talk magically, instantly vanish:

andgt;andgt;But the history of English usage is not the point.

Previously in this talk, Oaks notes that the meanings of words change over time, as though to insinuate that "thou" had. But it isn't that "thou" has "changed meanings"; it is that it has been totally obsolete - hasn't been used - in "standard English" (hereafter "SE") for going on half a millenium. Even by the time of Shakespeare and the KJV it was falling out of use in SE, and I know for a fact that some linguists believe that the only reason Shakespeare used it so often in his plays (whereas contemporaries like Ben Jonson used it rarely) was that he (supposedly) hailed from Warwickshire, where it was still a part of the dialect.

(And by the way, my wife is from Lancashire; and if you went there right now and talked to people over fifty [as I have a few times] who still speak in dialectic, you would hear them quite frequently use the INFORMAL "thou" and "thee" to their grandchildren, farm animals like goats and pigs, and grocery boys. It never has been - and is still not, where it is used - the "reverent", "dignified", or "formal" form, not in regional dialects, nor in SE).

Anyway, it is easy to wonder if for Oaks, "the history of English usage" has ceased to be the point only because "the history of English usage" completely destroys the weird arguments he keeps trying to make. How can "usage" and its "history" NOT be the point, when his whole talk is about 500 year old words that he wants us to keep using, on grounds that they are "dignified", even though, as he also admits, they aren't? How can ANY discussion of a word's meaning, nuances, etc., completely divorce itself from the history of that word? Oaks doesn't really answer this question. But why should he have to? He's an apostle, and even though his talk contains numerous internal inconsistencies, that he is an apostle should be all that is required for us to not notice, I supppose.

So far, Oaks has argued that "thou" should be used because it is "dignified", even though as he explains, it wasn't ever actually "dignified" at all; insinuated then that it might be appropriate just because the meaning has changed, even though it hasn't where still used in regional dialect, and in fact has dropped entirely from SE.

And in seeming (subconscious?) recognition of his increasingly embarrassing position, he finally concedes that, okay, "thou" might be obsolete - but that THAT is precisely why we SHOULD use it for "the language of prayer"! (He says, "In our day the English words thee, thou, thy, and thine are suitable for the language of prayer, not because of how they were used anciently but because they are currently obsolete in common English discourse".)

Confession: I don't understand. Why does "obsolete" mean "more sacred"? Would Dallin Oaks insist that we all start listening to the MoTab on wax cylinders or vinyl LP's, or wear burlap robes to church instead of navy business suits with red silk ties?

Oaks' position seems to come down to this: SE currently lacks a formal "you", since "you" now is used in both formal and informal settings. But, deity must be addressed, in English, using formal speech (though he doesn't explain why all other languages should use the informal, as the church insists they do). So, the obsolete "thou" can be appropriated to this end, despite the fact it was always - and is still, where used - the informal form.

This might be okay, except that THE CHURCH ITSELF translates ALL references to Deity, in its scriptures, its manuals, its conference talks (even Oaks'!), everything, into the INFORMAL form of address of every language of which I am aware. German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, every other language with two forms of address, I believe - the church itself always uses the INFORMAL! On what grounds, in the end, does Oaks argue that "right" requires English speakers to try essentially to create out of nothing, like Kwanzaa, and use, a formal form of address, while "right" ALSO requires virtually all non-English Mormons to do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE? Again, “what principle”? Why?

I think, in the end, the answer is - "because". That's always the ultimate answer in authoritarian organizations, whether we all realize it or not. "Because" - because Spencer Kimball said so, because Joseph said so, because we always have...but as each "because" (just as we have seen in Oaks' own talk) evaporates under scrutiny, another "because" replaces it. And in the end, there is nothing else, except "because". Because we said so. And when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done. And that should settle the matter for all faithful Latter-day Saints. The end.

----------------------

MORE COMMENTS.

Any discussion of Dallin Oaks’ version of the “language of prayer” might take into consideration the language of the KJV, since Mormon prayer language seems to be an effort to continue its form of speech. As well, while Oaks' talk isn't specifically about the KJV, Mormon defenses of its continued use often rely on the same kinds of arguments used by Oaks for defending obsolete language in prayer. And I feel pretty sure that Oaks' would defend the continued use of the KJV as staunchly (and as unconvincingly) as he does "the language of prayer". Just a few comments then for what they're worth.

The first English translation of the Bible was done by John Wycliffe in the late 1300's (don't remember the exact year). It was revolutionary because it was a translation of the scriptures into the language of the common man; and as such, was a total karate kick in the face of the church. The church opposed Latin to English translations, at bottom, because it weakened their power - up until that time, the priests (obviously this is pre-church/state separation) had been the referees in the game of life, but the players themselves had little or no access to the "definitive" rule book, The Bible. All priestly opinions had to be accepted just on faith as being accurate expressions of what The Bible itself said. Human nature being what it is, it is difficult to imagine even the most saintly pope or priest (or prophet) never wielding such power to satisfy his own interests.

Wycliffe, with his English translation, helped to start changing this situation. Though with great faith in God, he aligned himself with reason, autonomy, and enlightenment, and against the dark forces of dogma and questionable, irresponsible religious authority claims. He once said that even if a hundred popes were to announce something, their opinions on faith shouldn't be accepted unless they squared with holy writ. It is no wonder the church was so angry at him. Suddenly, they were being held accountable. Their power derived from their ability to be the final interpreters of a scripture withheld from the very people they sought power over (does that sound familiar?); even at the same time they claimed that scriptures were the only word of God, they reserved ALL RIGHT to INTERPRET that word of God; which in effect substituted them for that word of God itself, without acknowledging this was what was happening (and does THAT sound familiar?). Was it Brennan or Black who said the Constitution was "whatever wesay it means"?

Wycliffe's successor translator, William Tyndale, similarly wished for holy writ to be accessible to the common man. He once said to a priest, “ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth a plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost”. After he published his translation, one which broadly would come to serve as the template for future translations, including the KJV, he was pursued by the Catholic church, caught, and then burned at the stake. His crime? Facilitating access to religious information, a “crime” that the Mormon church would probably make, in essence, against the guy who smuggled Joseph’s “Kirtland Papers” (the Egyptian Grammar book) out of the archives, against the Tanners for publishing it, against Grant Palmer or Michael Quinn or anyone else who would dare reveal religious information and facilitate the holding accountable of men who make authority claims identical to (and identically as specious as) the Catholic popes and priests the church once derided in its endowment ceremony.“The truth”, in the end, does not matter - only “the church”. But since the church’s very claims to authority are based on claims about “the truth”, how can it fight against access to it, without legitimately arousing the gravest suspicion? Without suggesting it could not be what it claims to be?

In the story of the English bible, the Catholics are the bad guys. And Dallin Oaks, whether he knows it or not, seems to be on the side of the bad guys; he seems very much to agree with uber-Catholic Sir Thomas More, who once complained bitterly about the holy word of God being translated into the language of ploughboys - rather than left in the more exalted, reverential language of?.Latin. (How stupid). (Just replace “Latin” with “KJV English”, which for many people, four hundred years later, seems about as incomprehensible as a Robert Burns poem written in Scottish dialect, and you have Oaks' position). Oaks would have been criticizing Tyndale, Wycliffe, and the KJV translators if he’d lived several centuries ago. He can’t get around that, without disavowing his main position, which he hasn’t done, that I know of.

The protestant King James repudiated More’s/Oaks’ position by authorizing a new translation, one that would combine the best features of all then extant versions, to be written in the tongue of the common man - not some fake language which we’re supposed to pretend is “exalted”. The whole point of the King James Version of the Bible was to put it into common tongue - NOT keep it “exalted” or “obscure” or “archaic (although a few of Tyndale’s by then famous phrases, 80 years old by that time and already sounding a bit dated, were kept). The whole point was to make it comprehensible, so as to neutralize the claims of priests - and Mormon apostles - who in effect argue that the scriptures mean whatever they say they mean.

Because the KJV translators - whose project, oddly enough, Oaks reveres and loathes at the same time without realizing it - wanted the word of God totally comprehensible to everyone, I believe very strongly they would say he was every bit the religious bigot, upholder of superstition, and self-styled divine "authority" who actually INHIBITS the spread of the divine word by warring against its intelligibility, as were the Catholic friars who, well, "fried" John Wycliffe.

What’s even worse is that neither the Old Testament nor the New was originally written in anything other than plain language. The New Testament, for example, as is well known, wasn’t written in “formal, dignified Greek” at all, but in koine Greek, the Greek used by fishermen, prostitutes, and...Jewish tentmakers like Paul - the Greek, by the way, used by people whose native tongue wasn’t Greek at all, but Aramaic.

So, if Matthew and Paul and Luke et al didn’t use some archaic, pseudo-dignified form of speech in writing about the most sacred matters imaginable - Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection - and don’t even quote Jesus using anything other than common speech in addressing God, on what grounds can Dallin Oaks or anyone NOW claim that the scriptures (and our prayers) are so sacred as to merit warping in this way? It makes no sense. To endorse this warping is to insult the very KJV translators who the church claims were inspired to write what they did. They wrote in common speech. Any translation which doesn’t represent that fact is a slap at them, and reveals yet another example of a Mormon claim which undermines itself when seen in the light of other Mormon claims.

I mentioned Jesus using common language to address God. I’d like to ask Dallin Oaks who “the great exemplar” is, if not Jesus? Of course, he would say Jesus. So, if, as Oaks claims, we need some formal language with which to address God, why then does Jesus, the great exemplar, address God using the very intimate term “Abba”? (And according to some authorities, he would have done so all the time, not just where it is specified in NT text).

Abba does not, as is commonly suggested, translate exactly into “Daddy”, but it definitely is a familiar, intimate term, maybe something like "papa" - NOT “Your Royal Highness” or whatever it is that Oaks seems to think Jesus would want us to use.

Oaks might reply that he was entitled to use this term, since God was his literal father. I might then ask why Paul tells his congregations that the Spirit of God says that believers in Christ should worship God as “Abba”? (See, e.g., Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:15). Aren’t the standard works THE standard for official church doctrine? That’s what Oaks would say - and in saying so, he would have just exploded his own weird thesis, for in it, prayer to and praise of God is explicitly exemplified, and recommended to be, in FAMILIAR language.

Further, I’d like to know (if we are to maintain the kind of “appropriate distance” to deity recommended by Oaks and before him, by McConkie), why Gordon B. Hinckley announced in public that “Jesus is my friend”?

If Oaks really wants to read the Bible in something like a faithful translation, he could try the RSV (forget what J. Reuben Clark said), or the NRSV, even the ESV which maintains the “virgin”/parthenos/alma/beutlah/Isaiah/Matthew deal for the born agains. Heck, even the NIV would be better than the KJV for accuracy. Maybe even better in my mind is Richmond Lattimore’s translation of the New Testament. THAT is near to what it would have sounded like to the contemporaries of its writers.

Let me try something out here, to conclude.

The church continues to insist on using “thees” and “thous” in prayer, because to replace them would raise the question of why the church is still then sticking with an archaic Bible translation which has been greatly superceded in accuracy and intelligibility by a number of others. But questions like this are bad.

They’re bad, because we might start to wonder, after digging more deeply into the various translations, if the KJV can’t be replaced because to do so might undermine the basis for many of Joseph’s teachings and doctrines, which were “riffs” or midrashic embellishments on particular KJV verses - which in some cases were mistranslations (unbeknownst to Joseph), or which were misunderstood by him due to ambiguity in the translation. But that can’t happen without calling into question the reliability of the charismatic Joseph, and thus the authority of his church.

Therefore, use of the KJV, and the use of KJV language for Mormon prayers, must be defended in whatever way possible - even in ways which make no sense, which are contradicted not only by the facts of history but by the scriptures themselves (as suggested above), and even by statements within the very talks of people trying to defend them - like Dallin Oaks' "The Language of Prayer".

Just as we might expect if the church were not run, in the end, by anything approximating Omniscience no matter how diluted by mortal minds, but by mortals whose access to omniscience is every bit as non-existent as our own, the church once again seems to find itself painted into a corner, any escape attempt from which - while maintaining church claims - must of necessity provoke the greatest violence on the rudimentary rules of logic, and the most basic respect for fact, truth, and reality.

I'll give Oaks' credit for this, though his talk is a carcrash - I don't imagine anyone being able to do better defending the indefensible than he does. What else could we really expect? The thing, in the end, just isn't defensible without ending up sounding like you're creating your own version of the Nicene Creed. If the thing itself is nonsense, it is no wonder defenses of it are as well. How could they not be?
topic image
Dalin Oaks Defends Joseph Destroying The Press
Monday, Aug 1, 2005, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): Helemon
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
happened past the BYU channel the other day just in time to see Dalin Oaks talking about a paper he had coauthored with another lawyer proving that it was legal for Joseph as mayor of Nauvoo to destroy the printing press. Of course he did not go into detail about why Joseph felt it was necessary to destroy the printing press or whether the information the press was distributing was in anyway false or misleading.

I wonder if this is the exception to the rule of freedom of the press that Oaks was referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_...

Quote:
One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was the law of seditious libel that made criticizing of the government a crime. The King was above public criticism and that statements critical of the government were forbidden, according to the English Court of the Star Chamber. Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government.
Joseph after all was pronounced the King of Israel by the saints. And this rule still applies to the freedom of speech in the church as evidenced by Simon's ordeal.

More interesting stuff from that page:

Quote:
The notion of "freedom of the press" that later was enshrined in the United States Constitution is generally traced to the seditious libel prosecution of John Peter Zenger by the colonial governor of New York in 1735. Zenger was acquitted after his lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, argued to the jury (contrary to established English law) that there was no libel in publishing the truth. Yet even after this celebrated case, colonial governors and assemblies asserted the power to prosecute and even imprison printers for publishing unapproved views.

During the American Revolution, a free press was identified by Revolutionary leaders as one of the elements of liberty that they sought to preserve. The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) proclaimed that "the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by despotic governments." Similarly, the Constitution of Massachusetts (1780) declared, "The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth." Following these examples, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution restricted Congress from abridging the freedom of the press and the closely associated freedom of speech.
So it would seem that even if other governors of the day were enforcing sedition laws Joseph was not acting in accordance with the views of the men whom the Church teaches were inspired by God to lay the foundations of this country and was not acting in a manner which upholded and sustained the freedom of expression in his community. But then the church has never really believed in the idea of freedom of expression among its members.
topic image
Women Who Dress Immodestly Are Pornography To Men
Tuesday, Apr 5, 2005, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From Dallin H. Oaks this last conference:
We must also act to protect those we love. Parents install alarms to warn if their household is threatened by smoke or carbon monoxide. We should also install protections against spiritual threats. Protections like filters on internet connections and locating access so others can see what is being viewed. And we should build the spiritual strength of our families by loving relationships family prayer, and scripture study. Finally, do not patronize pornography. Do not use your purchasing power to support moral degradation. And young woman, please understand that if you dress immodestly you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you. Please heed these warnings. Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of pornography that threatens our spirituality, our marriages, and our children.
Meanwhile, you can still purchase pornography at any Marriott Hotel, owned by an LDS General Authority by the same name.

Funny how we never hear the brethren say, "And you young men, be sure never to play "shirts-n-skins" on the asphalt, as the sight of your bare chests may invoke impure thoughts in the minds of our sisters." Or maybe they should reprimand young men who "adjust" themselves in the church hall? Or send home deacons if we can see their nipples through the white shirts?
topic image
Women Who Dress Immodestly Are Pornography To Men
Tuesday, Apr 5, 2005, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From Dallin H. Oaks this last conference:
We must also act to protect those we love. Parents install alarms to warn if their household is threatened by smoke or carbon monoxide. We should also install protections against spiritual threats. Protections like filters on internet connections and locating access so others can see what is being viewed. And we should build the spiritual strength of our families by loving relationships family prayer, and scripture study. Finally, do not patronize pornography. Do not use your purchasing power to support moral degradation. And young woman, please understand that if you dress immodestly you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you. Please heed these warnings. Let us all improve our personal behavior and redouble our efforts to protect our loved ones and our environment from the onslaught of pornography that threatens our spirituality, our marriages, and our children.
Meanwhile, you can still purchase pornography at any Marriott Hotel, owned by an LDS General Authority by the same name.

Funny how we never hear the brethren say, "And you young men, be sure never to play "shirts-n-skins" on the asphalt, as the sight of your bare chests may invoke impure thoughts in the minds of our sisters." Or maybe they should reprimand young men who "adjust" themselves in the church hall? Or send home deacons if we can see their nipples through the white shirts?
topic image
The Weirdest Talk In Modern GC History: Dallin Oaks' "Language Of Prayer"
Tuesday, May 31, 2005, at 09:15 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I'm a big fan of everyone's right to say stupid things. In fact, I myself have said a lot of stupid things on here. The worst was when I incorrectly announced that my prophecy that the "principal ancestors" phrase would be eliminated from future editions of the BOM had been fulfilled in the new Doubleday version, when it hadn't. It was still there, but I'd missed it reading over the intro in the bookstore. It can be mortifying to have to eat your shorts any time, but since we all make mistakes, and hopefully, all wish to learn, I think it's just part of life.

So, I don't hold think there is anything particularly unusual, or even wrong, about anyone, including Dallin Oaks, saying silly things once in awhile. (After all, the only reason why someone might say far fewer silly things than average would be if they were a "special witness" of, with special access to, the faultless, omniscient mind of a deity, like the ascended Jesus of Nazareth.) Often times, silly comments lead to serious discussion where new insights are made. And of course, silly comments sometimes turn out not to be so silly upon inspection.

But that brings us to what may be the weirdest talk in modern General Conference history, Dallin Oaks' "Language of Prayer" talk. There are so many internal contradictions and problems with this talk, that a full critique of it would be a couple of times the length of the original talk. But since a few people asked me last week for a few comments after this talk came up on a thread that I started, here are a few. (The full text of this talk can be read at www.lds.org, May 1993 Ensign).

It is easy to imagine that addressing the Creator of the universe, the embodiment of all righteousness and perfection, should impel us to use language different from that which we use to talk to goldfish or prison inmates. It is all the more significant, then, what a hash Elder Oaks makes of his defense of it.

For example, he writes:

>> The special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same. We should address prayers to our Heavenly Father in words which speakers of that language associate with love and respect and reverence and closeness. The application of this principle will, of course, vary according to the nature of a particular language, including the forms that were used when the scriptures were translated into that language. Some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns and verbs used only in addressing family and very close friends. Other languages have honorific forms of address that signify great respect, such as words used only when speaking to a king or other person of high rank. Both of these kinds of special words are appropriately used in offering prayers in other languages because they communicate the desired feelings of love, respect, reverence, or closeness.

Question: How does it make sense to say that the “special language of prayer follows different forms in different languages, but the principle is always the same”? What principle? Oaks says that in prayer, “some languages have intimate or familiar pronouns…other languages have ‘honorific forms’” but that "BOTH...ARE APPROPRIATELY USED". Huh? Familiar forms of address, versus formal forms, are opposites. What “principle” could erase the very distinction on which his entire talk depends for its point? This is totally bizarre. If it is true that different languages use either the formal or informal in addressing God, and then he says that that's appropriate, on what grounds is he arguing that in English, we shouldn't use "you"? WHAT PRINCIPLE?

Oaks writes that "thou" and "thee", etc., constitute "dignified" language. But then he writes this:

>>The special language of prayer that Latter-day Saints use in English has sometimes been explained by reference to the history of the English language. It has been suggested that thee, thou, thy, and thine are simply holdovers from forms of address once used to signify respect for persons of higher rank. But more careful scholarship shows that the words we now use in the language of prayer were once commonly used by persons of rank IN ADDRESSING PERSONS OF INFERIOR POSITION...These same English words were also used in communications between persons in an intimate relationship." (That is, they constituted the informal form).

So, according to Elder Oaks, we should use "thou" because it is more "dignified", AND, according to Elder Oaks, "thou" is NOT more dignified, because (as most people interested in English know), it actually IS the now obsolete informal, intimate form of address - exactly the one people did use to address golfish and criminals with, 500 years ago. How does this make sense? Oaks says in effect, "'thou' is formal" AND "'thou' is informal".

How does Oaks get around this obstacle to his argument? Very easily. He simply ends up declaring, as though hopefully to make the conundrums he gets himself into in this talk magically, instantly vanish:

>>But the history of English usage is not the point.

Previously in this talk, Oaks notes that the meanings of words change over time, as though to insinuate that "thou" had. But it isn't that "thou" has "changed meanings"; it is that it has been totally obsolete - hasn't been used - in "standard English" (hereafter "SE") for going on half a millenium. Even by the time of Shakespeare and the KJV it was falling out of use in SE, and I know for a fact that some linguists believe that the only reason Shakespeare used it so often in his plays (whereas contemporaries like Ben Jonson used it rarely) was that he (supposedly) hailed from Warwickshire, where it was still a part of the dialect.

(And by the way, my wife is from Lancashire; and if you went there right now and talked to people over fifty [as I have a few times] who still speak in dialectic, you would hear them quite frequently use the INFORMAL "thou" and "thee" to their grandchildren, farm animals like goats and pigs, and grocery boys. It never has been - and is still not, where it is used - the "reverent", "dignified", or "formal" form, not in regional dialects, nor in SE).

Anyway, it is easy to wonder if for Oaks, "the history of English usage" has ceased to be the point only because "the history of English usage" completely destroys the weird arguments he keeps trying to make. How can "usage" and its "history" NOT be the point, when his whole talk is about 500 year old words that he wants us to keep using, on grounds that they are "dignified", even though, as he also admits, they aren't? How can ANY discussion of a word's meaning, nuances, etc., completely divorce itself from the history of that word? Oaks doesn't really answer this question. But why should he have to? He's an apostle, and even though his talk contains numerous internal inconsistencies, that he is an apostle should be all that is required for us to not notice, I supppose.

So far, Oaks has argued that "thou" should be used because it is "dignified", even though as he explains, it wasn't ever actually "dignified" at all; insinuated then that it might be appropriate just because the meaning has changed, even though it hasn't where still used in regional dialect, and in fact has dropped entirely from SE.

And in seeming (subconscious?) recognition of his increasingly embarrassing position, he finally concedes that, okay, "thou" might be obsolete - but that THAT is precisely why we SHOULD use it for "the language of prayer"! (He says, "In our day the English words thee, thou, thy, and thine are suitable for the language of prayer, not because of how they were used anciently but because they are currently obsolete in common English discourse".)

Confession: I don't understand. Why does "obsolete" mean "more sacred"? Would Dallin Oaks insist that we all start listening to the MoTab on wax cylinders or vinyl LP's, or wear burlap robes to church instead of navy business suits with red silk ties?

Oaks' position seems to come down to this: SE currently lacks a formal "you", since "you" now is used in both formal and informal settings. But, deity must be addressed, in English, using formal speech (though he doesn't explain why all other languages should use the informal, as the church insists they do). So, the obsolete "thou" can be appropriated to this end, despite the fact it was always - and is still, where used - the informal form.

This might be okay, except that THE CHURCH ITSELF translates ALL references to Deity, in its scriptures, its manuals, its conference talks (even Oaks'!), everything, into the INFORMAL form of address of every language of which I am aware. German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, every other language with two forms of address, I believe - the church itself always uses the INFORMAL! On what grounds, in the end, does Oaks argue that "right" requires English speakers to try essentially to create out of nothing, like Kwanzaa, and use, a formal form of address, while "right" ALSO requires virtually all non-English Mormons to do EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE? Again, “what principle”? Why?

I think, in the end, the answer is - "because". That's always the ultimate answer in authoritarian organizations, whether we all realize it or not. "Because" - because Spencer Kimball said so, because Joseph said so, because we always have...but as each "because" (just as we have seen in Oaks' own talk) evaporates under scrutiny, another "because" replaces it. And in the end, there is nothing else, except "because". Because we said so. And when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done. And that should settle the matter for all faithful Latter-day Saints. The end.

----------------------

MORE COMMENTS.

Any discussion of Dallin Oaks’ version of the “language of prayer” might take into consideration the language of the KJV, since Mormon prayer language seems to be an effort to continue its form of speech. As well, while Oaks' talk isn't specifically about the KJV, Mormon defenses of its continued use often rely on the same kinds of arguments used by Oaks for defending obsolete language in prayer. And I feel pretty sure that Oaks' would defend the continued use of the KJV as staunchly (and as unconvincingly) as he does "the language of prayer". Just a few comments then for what they're worth.

The first English translation of the Bible was done by John Wycliffe in the late 1300's (don't remember the exact year). It was revolutionary because it was a translation of the scriptures into the language of the common man; and as such, was a total karate kick in the face of the church. The church opposed Latin to English translations, at bottom, because it weakened their power - up until that time, the priests (obviously this is pre-church/state separation) had been the referees in the game of life, but the players themselves had little or no access to the "definitive" rule book, The Bible. All priestly opinions had to be accepted just on faith as being accurate expressions of what The Bible itself said. Human nature being what it is, it is difficult to imagine even the most saintly pope or priest (or prophet) never wielding such power to satisfy his own interests.

Wycliffe, with his English translation, helped to start changing this situation. Though with great faith in God, he aligned himself with reason, autonomy, and enlightenment, and against the dark forces of dogma and questionable, irresponsible religious authority claims. He once said that even if a hundred popes were to announce something, their opinions on faith shouldn't be accepted unless they squared with holy writ. It is no wonder the church was so angry at him. Suddenly, they were being held accountable. Their power derived from their ability to be the final interpreters of a scripture withheld from the very people they sought power over (does that sound familiar?); even at the same time they claimed that scriptures were the only word of God, they reserved ALL RIGHT to INTERPRET that word of God; which in effect substituted them for that word of God itself, without acknowledging this was what was happening (and does THAT sound familiar?). Was it Brennan or Black who said the Constitution was "whatever wesay it means"?

Wycliffe's successor translator, William Tyndale, similarly wished for holy writ to be accessible to the common man. He once said to a priest, “ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth a plough to know more of the scriptures than thou dost”. After he published his translation, one which broadly would come to serve as the template for future translations, including the KJV, he was pursued by the Catholic church, caught, and then burned at the stake. His crime? Facilitating access to religious information, a “crime” that the Mormon church would probably make, in essence, against the guy who smuggled Joseph’s “Kirtland Papers” (the Egyptian Grammar book) out of the archives, against the Tanners for publishing it, against Grant Palmer or Michael Quinn or anyone else who would dare reveal religious information and facilitate the holding accountable of men who make authority claims identical to (and identically as specious as) the Catholic popes and priests the church once derided in its endowment ceremony.“The truth”, in the end, does not matter - only “the church”. But since the church’s very claims to authority are based on claims about “the truth”, how can it fight against access to it, without legitimately arousing the gravest suspicion? Without suggesting it could not be what it claims to be?

In the story of the English bible, the Catholics are the bad guys. And Dallin Oaks, whether he knows it or not, seems to be on the side of the bad guys; he seems very much to agree with uber-Catholic Sir Thomas More, who once complained bitterly about the holy word of God being translated into the language of ploughboys - rather than left in the more exalted, reverential language of….Latin. (How stupid). (Just replace “Latin” with “KJV English”, which for many people, four hundred years later, seems about as incomprehensible as a Robert Burns poem written in Scottish dialect, and you have Oaks' position). Oaks would have been criticizing Tyndale, Wycliffe, and the KJV translators if he’d lived several centuries ago. He can’t get around that, without disavowing his main position, which he hasn’t done, that I know of.

The protestant King James repudiated More’s/Oaks’ position by authorizing a new translation, one that would combine the best features of all then extant versions, to be written in the tongue of the common man - not some fake language which we’re supposed to pretend is “exalted”. The whole point of the King James Version of the Bible was to put it into common tongue - NOT keep it “exalted” or “obscure” or “archaic (although a few of Tyndale’s by then famous phrases, 80 years old by that time and already sounding a bit dated, were kept). The whole point was to make it comprehensible, so as to neutralize the claims of priests - and Mormon apostles - who in effect argue that the scriptures mean whatever they say they mean.

Because the KJV translators - whose project, oddly enough, Oaks reveres and loathes at the same time without realizing it - wanted the word of God totally comprehensible to everyone, I believe very strongly they would say he was every bit the religious bigot, upholder of superstition, and self-styled divine "authority" who actually INHIBITS the spread of the divine word by warring against its intelligibility, as were the Catholic friars who, well, "fried" John Wycliffe.

What’s even worse is that neither the Old Testament nor the New was originally written in anything other than plain language. The New Testament, for example, as is well known, wasn’t written in “formal, dignified Greek” at all, but in koine Greek, the Greek used by fishermen, prostitutes, and...Jewish tentmakers like Paul - the Greek, by the way, used by people whose native tongue wasn’t Greek at all, but Aramaic.

So, if Matthew and Paul and Luke et al didn’t use some archaic, pseudo-dignified form of speech in writing about the most sacred matters imaginable - Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection - and don’t even quote Jesus using anything other than common speech in addressing God, on what grounds can Dallin Oaks or anyone NOW claim that the scriptures (and our prayers) are so sacred as to merit warping in this way? It makes no sense. To endorse this warping is to insult the very KJV translators who the church claims were inspired to write what they did. They wrote in common speech. Any translation which doesn’t represent that fact is a slap at them, and reveals yet another example of a Mormon claim which undermines itself when seen in the light of other Mormon claims.

I mentioned Jesus using common language to address God. I’d like to ask Dallin Oaks who “the great exemplar” is, if not Jesus? Of course, he would say Jesus. So, if, as Oaks claims, we need some formal language with which to address God, why then does Jesus, the great exemplar, address God using the very intimate term “Abba”? (And according to some authorities, he would have done so all the time, not just where it is specified in NT text).

Abba does not, as is commonly suggested, translate exactly into “Daddy”, but it definitely is a familiar, intimate term, maybe something like "papa" - NOT “Your Royal Highness” or whatever it is that Oaks seems to think Jesus would want us to use.

Oaks might reply that he was entitled to use this term, since God was his literal father. I might then ask why Paul tells his congregations that the Spirit of God says that believers in Christ should worship God as “Abba”? (See, e.g., Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:15). Aren’t the standard works THE standard for official church doctrine? That’s what Oaks would say - and in saying so, he would have just exploded his own weird thesis, for in it, prayer to and praise of God is explicitly exemplified, and recommended to be, in FAMILIAR language.

Further, I’d like to know (if we are to maintain the kind of “appropriate distance” to deity recommended by Oaks and before him, by McConkie), why Gordon B. Hinckley announced in public that “Jesus is my friend”?

If Oaks really wants to read the Bible in something like a faithful translation, he could try the RSV (forget what J. Reuben Clark said), or the NRSV, even the ESV which maintains the “virgin”/parthenos/alma/beutlah/Isaiah/Matthew deal for the born agains. Heck, even the NIV would be better than the KJV for accuracy. Maybe even better in my mind is Richmond Lattimore’s translation of the New Testament. THAT is near to what it would have sounded like to the contemporaries of its writers.

Let me try something out here, to conclude.

The church continues to insist on using “thees” and “thous” in prayer, because to replace them would raise the question of why the church is still then sticking with an archaic Bible translation which has been greatly superceded in accuracy and intelligibility by a number of others. But questions like this are bad.

They’re bad, because we might start to wonder, after digging more deeply into the various translations, if the KJV can’t be replaced because to do so might undermine the basis for many of Joseph’s teachings and doctrines, which were “riffs” or midrashic embellishments on particular KJV verses - which in some cases were mistranslations (unbeknownst to Joseph), or which were misunderstood by him due to ambiguity in the translation. But that can’t happen without calling into question the reliability of the charismatic Joseph, and thus the authority of his church.

Therefore, use of the KJV, and the use of KJV language for Mormon prayers, must be defended in whatever way possible - even in ways which make no sense, which are contradicted not only by the facts of history but by the scriptures themselves (as suggested above), and even by statements within the very talks of people trying to defend them - like Dallin Oaks' "The Language of Prayer".

Just as we might expect if the church were not run, in the end, by anything approximating Omniscience no matter how diluted by mortal minds, but by mortals whose access to omniscience is every bit as non-existent as our own, the church once again seems to find itself painted into a corner, any escape attempt from which - while maintaining church claims - must of necessity provoke the greatest violence on the rudimentary rules of logic, and the most basic respect for fact, truth, and reality.

I'll give Oaks' credit for this, though his talk is a carcrash - I don't imagine anyone being able to do better defending the indefensible than he does. What else could we really expect? The thing, in the end, just isn't defensible without ending up sounding like you're creating your own version of the Nicene Creed. If the thing itself is nonsense, it is no wonder defenses of it are as well. How could they not be?
topic image
Dalin Oaks Defends Joseph Destroying The Press
Monday, Aug 1, 2005, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Helemon
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I happened past the BYU channel the other day just in time to see Dalin Oaks talking about a paper he had coauthored with another lawyer proving that it was legal for Joseph as mayor of Nauvoo to destroy the printing press. Of course he did not go into detail about why Joseph felt it was necessary to destroy the printing press or whether the information the press was distributing was in anyway false or misleading.

I wonder if this is the exception to the rule of freedom of the press that Oaks was referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_...

Quote:
One form of speech that was widely restricted in England was the law of seditious libel that made criticizing of the government a crime. The King was above public criticism and that statements critical of the government were forbidden, according to the English Court of the Star Chamber. Truth was not a defense to seditious libel because the goal was to prevent and punish all condemnation of the government.
Joseph after all was pronounced the King of Israel by the saints. And this rule still applies to the freedom of speech in the church as evidenced by Simon's ordeal.

More interesting stuff from that page:

Quote:
The notion of "freedom of the press" that later was enshrined in the United States Constitution is generally traced to the seditious libel prosecution of John Peter Zenger by the colonial governor of New York in 1735. Zenger was acquitted after his lawyer, Andrew Hamilton, argued to the jury (contrary to established English law) that there was no libel in publishing the truth. Yet even after this celebrated case, colonial governors and assemblies asserted the power to prosecute and even imprison printers for publishing unapproved views.

During the American Revolution, a free press was identified by Revolutionary leaders as one of the elements of liberty that they sought to preserve. The Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776) proclaimed that "the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty and can never be restrained but by despotic governments." Similarly, the Constitution of Massachusetts (1780) declared, "The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth." Following these examples, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution restricted Congress from abridging the freedom of the press and the closely associated freedom of speech.
So it would seem that even if other governors of the day were enforcing sedition laws Joseph was not acting in accordance with the views of the men whom the Church teaches were inspired by God to lay the foundations of this country and was not acting in a manner which upholded and sustained the freedom of expression in his community. But then the church has never really believed in the idea of freedom of expression among its members.
topic image
Dallin Oaks - Legal Polygamy As The Mormons See It
Thursday, Sep 15, 2005, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
For those who say polygamy is "behind us" or "not doctrinal" or a "blip of history" let me quote Dallin Oaks at a BYU devotional, Jan 29, 2002:

"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."
topic image
The Legaleze Trapeze Of Dallin H. Hoax Vs. The Illegal Destruction Of The Nauvoo Expositor
Thursday, Feb 23, 2006, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks' Shameless Defense of the Outlaw Joseph Smith

Supreme manipulator, deceiver and Mormon hired gun Dallin H. Oaks authored an appallingly apologetic defense of Joseph Smith's 1844-ordered destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, entitled "The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor", published in the Utah Law Review, vol. 9 (Winter 1965), pp. 862-903.
_____


It was an order, by the way, which led directly to Smith buying the farm in a hail of bullets.

As authors Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley observe:

"[When Smith's opponents] founded a newspaper to denounce [him] from inside the holy city [of Nauvoo] itself, Smith took the fatal step of ordering the press destroyed.

“Two weeks later Smith, who had predicted his demise, was jailed . . . along with his brother . . . The jail was soon attacked, and Smith and his brother were shot to death.”


(Robert Gottlieb and Peter Wiley, America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power [New York, New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1984], pp. 42-43)
_____


Author Ernest H. Taves notes that, when all was said and shot, Smith had no one else to blame but himself for his fate:

”In the end, [when] the [Nauvoo] City Council declared that the Expositor was guilty of slander and was a nuisance ‘worse than a dead carcass’ and directed . . . mayor [Smith] to eliminate it[,] . . . [h]e did [and] in so doing, [made] perhaps the greatest mistake of his life. He ordered the city marshal and a detail from the [Nauvoo] Legion to destroy the press, pi the type in the street, burn all the papers in the establishment, and (if any resistance was offered to all this) to destroy the building that had housed the press. . . .

“When [William Law] returned [from Carthage to Nauvoo,] he rode through his pied typed, looked at the gutted building, and saw his furniture in the street.

“The stage was set for the final act.”


(Ernest H. Taves, Trouble Enough: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon [Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Press, 1984], pp. 202-03), emphasis added
____


Surprise, Surprise: The Mormon Church's Official Propaganda Arm FARMS Backs Oaks’ Defense of the Expositor’s Destruction

Falling back on Oaks' slippery defense of Smith's unlawful act, FARMS apologist Elden J. Watson justifies Smith's illegal order to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor in a review of the book, Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois, by John E. Hallwas and Roger D. Launius.

In typical fancy-fudging FARMS fashion, Watson predictably whines that the book in question is "anti-Mormon" but, just as predictably, fails to offer any fact-based refutation of the authors' premise--resorting, instead, to huffing and puffing in hyperbolic histrionics, as he merely refers his audience to Oaks' article, without bothering to go into any details:

"There is one more item I would like to comment on before closing. The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor is perhaps the keystone of the authors' presentation. It is one of the most reiterated and frequently mentioned topics throughout the volume.

“Time and time again the authors allude to this incident as the prime documented example of an illegal and aggressive action perpetrated by Joseph Smith and other leaders of the Church against a few upstanding and honorable men of the community who wanted nothing more than a reform of the Church.

"These claims were answered before they were ever raised, but because the primary legitimate and accepted scholarly assessment of the action taken against the Nauvoo Expositor does not agree with their presumptions, the authors discard it with a mere wave of the hand [quote]:

‘Dallin H. Oaks, former justice on the Utah Supreme Court and present apostle in the church, has tried to pound a square peg into a round hole in seeking to legitimate the clearly illegal act of destroying the Expositor in June 1844. See Dallin H. Oaks, "The Suppression of the Nauvoo Expositor," Utah Law Review, 9 (Winter 1965): 862-903. (p. 9 n. 6)'

"The authors' authority for dismissing forty pages of documentation, detailed legal examination, discussion, and findings by a former member of the Utah Supreme Court is that 'virtually everyone except the Latter-day Saints' considered it illegal at the time and that Governor Ford, 'as fair an individual as was present in the Mormon conflict,' called the action 'irregular and illegal, and not to be endured in a free country' (p. 9, n. 6).

"They make the additional unsupported assertion that [Illinois] Governor [Thomas] Ford was an authority on constitutional law, but neglect to indicate what bearing that may have on Elder Oaks's review.

"Oaks's review responds thoroughly and sufficiently to the legality of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor."


(Elden J. Watson,“Cultured Conflicts: History Served on the Half Shell,” at http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=reviewandid=344

Oh, yeah? So you say.

Or, better yet, bray.
_____


Hold Your Horses There, FARMS: Oaks Actually Admits that Joseph Smith Unlawfully Ordered the Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor

In reality, Oaks himself admitted in the article to which Watson robotically refers that Smith broke the law in ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor:

"The characterization of the printing press as a nuisance, and its subsequent destruction, is another matter. The common law authorities on nuisance abatement generally, and especially those on summary abatement, were emphatic in declaring that abatement must be limited by the necessities of the case, and that no wanton or unnecessary destruction of property could be permitted. A party guilty of excess was liable in damages for trespass to the party injured. . . .

"[T]here was no legal justification in 1844 for the destruction of the Expositor press as a nuisance. Its libelous, provocative, and perhaps obscene output may well have been a public and a private nuisance, but the evil article was not the press itself but the way in which it was being used.

"Consequently, those who caused or accomplished its destruction were liable for money damages in an action of trespass."


(Oaks, "Suppression of Nauvoo Expositor, pp. 890-891), emphasis added
_____


In a separate and later examination, Oaks also admits that the Nauvoo Expositor was demolished, on orders of Smith, without the benefit of due process of law:

”[Smith] urged that the newspaper be declared a nuisance and destroyed without judicial process, a procedure supported by Blackstone. . . . “John Taylor, a city councilman and high-ranking church leader, agreed, saying that the Expositor ‘stinks in the nose of every honest man.’ . . .

“[Smith] won over most of the council. They passed an ordinance declaring the newspaper a public nuisance and issued an order to the mayor to have it abated. Joseph Smith, acting as mayor, ordered the city marshal to destroy the newspaper and press without delay and instructed the major general of the Nauvoo Legion to have the militia assist. Shortly [thereafter], citizens and legionnaires marched to the Expositor office and smashed the press, scattering the type as they did so.”


(Dallin H. Oaks and Marvin S. Hill, Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith [Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1976], p. 15), emphasis added
_____


But, Wait: Oaks Then Famously (and Faithfully) Flip-Flops

Despite his confession that Smith broke the law in ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, Oaks apparently can’t stay honest for long and ultimately contends/pretends that in other respects, Smith did not break the law:

First he writes:

"In view of the law discussed . . . in Blackstone, . . . [there] seems to have been sufficient to give the Nauvoo City Council considerable basis in the law of their day for their action in characterizing the published issues of the Nauvoo Expositor as a nuisance and in summarily abating them by destruction."

(“The Illegal Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor", at http://www.mormonismi.info/jamesdavid/postin17.htm )
_____


Oaks' Unenlightened and Unlawful Reading of the Law

There are significant problems, however, with Oaks' above excuses, as noted below:

"Oaks' position is that the First Amendment didn't apply to the suppression of the Expositor because the doctrine of 'incorporation' (which was developed during the New Deal era) wasn't in force at the time. So state and local governments, such as the Nauvoo City Council, weren't [Oaks claims] bound by the First Amendment.

"There are two BIG problems with this defense. First, the Nauvoo Charter (which is available on-line) EXPRESSLY incorporated the U.S. and Illinois State Constitutions, with their respective protections of the freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc.

"So Oaks' legal argument is a tissue of sheer sophistry.

"Second, Oaks and other Morg leaders persist in upbraiding President Van Buren for his statement: 'Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you,' as if this were a cowardly dereliction of duty.

"But Van Buren was right: He could only have intervened in Missouri on the application of the state government for help in quelling an insurrection.

"Why is this important? Simple: Oaks' claim that the suppression of the Expositor was constitutional and legal rests on a strict federalist interpretation of the Constitution (allowing for Oaks' dishonest treatment of the Nauvoo Charter).

"The same is true of Van Buren's infamous statement. So, strict federalism would justify mob action by Mormons, but supposedly wouldn't justify Washington's refusal to quell mob action against them."


("Oaks, Smith and the Constitution," authored by "Will,"
14 March 2003, at http://www.salamandersociety.com/foyer/prophets/dallinhoaks/ ; and "Nauvoo Charter," at http://www.nauvoo.com/charter.html ), original emphasis
_____


The Nauvoo Expositor and the U.S. Constitution: Both Nuisances to Joseph Smith

The patent illegality of the Nauvoo City Council's action in ordering (on Smith's command] the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press is beyond serious debate, despite what Deceptive Dallin wants others to believe. Smith's destruction of the Expositor press clearly violated the U.S. Constitution, as acknowledged by Brigham Young University’s own website:

"With the powers granted by the [Nauvoo] city charter, they [the City Council] declared the newspaper a nuisance, as they felt its declarations threatened the security of the city. They authorized the mayor (Joseph Smith) to see that the nuisance was abated.

"[Smith] instructed the city marshal to abate the nuisance which he and his men accomplished by breaking into the printing shop, throwing the press into street where it was smashed with a sledge hammer, dumping the type into the street, and burning the undistributed copies of the newspaper.

"Such an extra-legal method of abating a newspaper was not without precedent in Illinois (though not in keeping with long established practices concerning abatement of a public press), but it was viewed as a violation to the federal Constitution which forbids destruction of property without due process of law. The city council had only the authority to abate the nuisance by suspending further publication of the paper pending a court hearing which would determine whether it was a public nuisance.

"The proprietor of the paper went to Carthage and swore out a warrant for the 18 members of the City Council, charging that they had violated the federal Constitution by destroying property with the resultant implication of 'suppression of the freedom of the press.'

"In response to the charge, 15 members of the Nauvoo City Council appeared before the justice of the peace in Carthage on Tuesday, June 25, and were bound over to the next term of the circuit court on bail of $500 each. Jointly they posted $7500 in bonds . . .

"[The Smiths], however, remained in Carthage to have an interview with Governor Ford. While awaiting audience with him, they were arrested on charges of treason and rioting for having used some of the Nauvoo Legion to assist the town marshal in the destruction of Expositor equipment. For this charge they were committed to the Carthage jail that afternoon.
"


("The Nauvoo Expositor Office Which Joseph Smith Destroyed," quoted from BYU’s website, at http://www.lds-mormon.com/06.shtml )
_____


Contrary to claims often advanced by Mormons defending the indefensible actions of Smith against the Nauvoo Expositor, the city of Nauvoo--despite its supposedly all-powerful municipal charter--was not a sovereign entity. Therefore, Nauvoo (meaning its mayor/council form of government) was ultimately subordinate to laws of the state of Illinois, as well as to those of the nation, as embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

As one student of the subject observes:

"Nauvoo was not a 'sovereign entity.' It was a city just like any other, and was subordinate to the laws and authority of Hancock County, which seat was at Carthage. That's why, after Smith ordered the Expositor press destroyed, its owners went to Carthage to file charges; lawmen from Carthage attempted to enter Nauvoo to arrest Smith; and Smith eventually submitted to arrest at Carthage.

"Nauvoo was most certainly not a 'theocracy independent of the state of Illinois.' Joseph Smith and Co. may have secretly planned for it to be that way, but it certainly was not true, legally speaking. Mayor Joseph Smith could not legally 'pardon himself if he broke the law.' In fact, it was his abuse of state and federal laws which led to his arrest and murder. And Smith's illegal pardoning of other criminals in Nauvoo added fuel to the flames.

Even [Mormon historian] B.H. Roberts noted that the Nauvoo Charter allowed nothing that was 'inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, and the State Constitution of Illinois.' (The Rise and Fall of Nauvoo, p. 80.)

"No municipal laws can override state laws, and no state laws can override federal laws. . . .

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.mormon/msg/f1164576b5d92e3c"


("Nao crer, please read . . .," post by "Randy J.," Recovery from Mormonism board, 23 February 2006, at [RFM LINK REMOVED]
_____


Unable to deny the actual facts concerning the Nauvoo City Charter, the LDS-biased and –published Encyclopedia of Mormonism acknowledges that it was ultimately subject to the overriding authority of the Illinois and federal constitutions:

”The Nauvoo document . . . was much like the charters of other Illinois cities. . . .

“One important provision stated that the Nauvoo Council could pass any ordinance not repugnant to the constitutions of the United States or to that of Illinois. . . . Ordinances passed by the Nauvoo Council could be in direct violation or disregard of state law and still be valid in Nauvoo, provided they did not conflict with specific powers granted by the federal and state constitutions. Leaders of the city militia, known as the Nauvoo Legion, and the [U]niversity [of the City of Nauvoo] trustees could also pass laws, limited only by state and federal constitutions.”


Which is a big “only.”

(James I. Kimball, Jr., “Nauvoo Charter,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism: : The History, Scriptures, Doctrine, and Procedures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 3 [New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992], p. 994), emphasis added
_____


Even Mormon Historians Disagree with Oaks on This One

Moreover, despite Oaks' mischievous misdirects, BYU history professor Thomas G. Alexander has explicitly and publicly acknowledged that there existed " no legal justification for the destruction of the [Nauvoo Expositor] press, and the proprietors might have sued the council for recovery of the machine's value."

(Thomas Alexander, "The Church and the Law," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, vol. 1, Summer 1966, pp. 123-24), emphasis added
______


Even apologetic LDS historians harboring obvious sympathies for scoundrel Smith--such as Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton--acknowledge his panicked rush to judgment over the publication of the Expositor’s damning revelations, while also noting that alternatives to the newspaper’s destruction were available:

”In the spring of 1844 . . . a small group of Mormon dissidents [in Nauvoo] founded a counter-organization and began publishing the . . . Expositor. They got out only one issue . . . which contained inflammatory allegations about the sex lives of the Mormon leaders and members.

“Smith, who was mayor, his brother Hyrum, vice-mayor, and the City Council, citing Blackstone on a community’s right to abate as a nuisance anything that disturbs the peace, declared the newspaper libelous and a public nuisance endangering civil order, and directed the city marshal to destroy that issue and the press.

“Some had argued for merely fining the libelers simply burning the papers, but Smith said he would ‘rather die tomorrow and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy . . . and bringing death and destruction upon us.’ The Council, which included at least one non-Mormon, concurred.

Nothing could have provided better ammunition for the anti-Mormons in Illinois . . . Although suppression of inflammatory periodicals was not without precedent and abatement of a nuisance was within the powers of the city council, leaders of the anti-Mormon party were quick to raise the issue of freedom of the press.”


(Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints [New York, New York: Alfred A,[, Knopf, 1979], pp. 77-78), emphasis added
_____


Adding fuel to the Expositor fire, former assistant Mormon Church historian under Arrington, James B. Allen, admitted that Smith "acted illegally" in ordering the destruction of the newspaper:

". . . [W]hen Joseph Smith ordered the actual destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press, he provided his enemies with a clearly legitimate means of arresting him for violation of the law. They seized upon this to inflame the public even more, and this led directly to [his] assassination.

"Some people may be disturbed by the suggestion that Joseph Smith acted illegally in this instance, but it is important to understand that under the tense pressures of the times he, too, may have made a mistake."


(James B. Allen, Brigham Young University Today, March 1976, p.10, quoted in Jerald and Sandra Tanner, “Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor: Answering Dr. Clandestine. A Response to the Anonymous LDS historian,” at http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/clndest8.htm ). emphasis added
_____


Allen, together with fellow Mormon historian Glen M. Leonard, also (albeit reluctantly and not surprisingly, since they were writing under the guiding influence of the LDS Church Historical Department) noted that the Nauvoo City Council ultimately exceeded–at least in certain respects--its legal authority in its questionable decision to have the Expositor demolished:

The councilmen suspended one of their own members, non-Mormon Sylvester Emmons, who was editor of the Expositor, and discussed the identity of the publishers and the intent of the newspaper.

“After analyzing legal precedents and municipal codes, the Council decided the paper was a public nuisance that had slandered individuals in the city. . . . [T]he Council acted under the nuisance ordinance. The mayor, Joseph Smith, then ordered the city marshal to destroy the press, scatter the type, and burn available papers. Within hours the order had been executed. The publishers, ostensibly fearing for their personal safety, fled to Carthage, where they obtained an arrest warrant against the Nauvoo City Council on a charge of riot.


Allen and Leonard then seek to defend the shaky constitutionality of the Council’s command decision to destroy the newspaper press:

“The Council had acted legally in its right to abate a nuisance, though contemporary legal opinion allowed only the destruction of published issues of an offending paper, not the destruction of the printing press itself. The city fathers had not violated the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press, though they had probably erred in violating property rights.

(James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, Published in Collaboration with the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1976], p. 192), emphasis added
_____


Then-Mormon and noted historian Fawn M. Brodie, is far less reluctant to point out the breathtakingly unconstitutional nature of Smith’s un-American assault on the Expositor:

”Calling together the City Council, [Smith] ordered a trial, not of the apostates, but of the Expositor itself. It was a strange, high-handed proceeding. There were no jury, no lawyers, no witnesses for the defense. The councilors simply stood up, one after another, and accused the editors of seduction, pandering, counterfeiting, and thievery. . . .

“Then he went on to add . . . to his list of denials of polygamy . . .

“The City Council now declared that the press was libelous and must be destroyed. [Smith] issued a proclamation declaring it a civic nuisance; a portion of the Legion marched to the office, wrecked the press, pied the type, and burned every issue of the hated paper that could be found. . . .

. . . [F]or [Smith] . . . to indulge in [the] sport [of destroying an Illinois newspaper was] . . . a violation of the holy Constitution. It was a greater breach of political and legal discipline than the anti-Mormons could have hoped for. Joseph could not have done better for his enemies, since he had at last given them a fighting moral issue.
"

Brodie then describes the response Illinois Governor Ford’s reaction to Smith’s unabashed law-breaking:

”When Thomas Ford learned of the burning of the Expositor, he went directly to Carthage for an investigation, determined to call out the militia if necessary to bring the offenders to justice. . . . Ford wrote to the prophet demanding that he and everyone else implicated in the destruction of the Expositor submit immediately to the Carthage constable and come to that city for trial. . . .

“. . . Ford brought a discriminating and sensitive intelligence and a stubborn loyalty for the law. . . .

“Ford himself came to the [Carthage] jail and talked with the prophet for several hours. . . . They argued back and forth, testing each other’s sincerity and strength . . . [ending up in strong disagreement on] the wrecking of the Expositor.

“’The press in the United States is looked upon as the great bulwark of American freedom,’ Ford insisted [to Smith], ‘and its destruction in Nauvoo was represented and looked upon as a high-handed measure, and manifests to the people a disposition on your part to suppress the liberty of speech and of the press.'”


(Fawn B. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet [New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983], pp. 377, 388-89), emphasis added
_____


LDS historian Donna Hill describes succinctly the wayward activities of Smith that led to his untimely demise:

”About two weeks before his death he had defied the sacred American precept of freedom of the press by demolishing an opposition newspaper . . . the Nauvoo Expositor, on the grounds that it was libelous and a public nuisance.”

Hill then explains Smith’s twisted thinking, where he decided that allowing the Nauvoo Expositor to continue publishing its embarrassing revelations would interfere with Smith’s grandiose plans to, among other things, take over the world and impose a Mormon theocracy:

"[Smith's]. . . tolerance . . . of the continued publication of . . . the newspaper would [have] disrupt[ed] the harmony of his religious community, endanger[ed] his candidacy for the highest office in the land, threaten[ed] the establishment of the political kingdom of God and, in short, dash[ed] all his dearest hopes.

"To suppress his enemies and their newspaper would [have been] a violation of those principles of freedom on which he was now so vigorously campaigning for office.

"To sue the paper for libel over issues that were already charged with emotion [such as Smith's 'moral imperfections,' i.e., polygamy] would [have] expose[d] him to sensational publicity, even if he should win, which was not likely. To lose such a suit would [have] endanger[ed] the city charter and might [have] result[ed] in the dissolution of the city government, or its assumption by dissenters."


What, then, to do?

Smith chose to simply ignore the U.S. Constitution:

"In a session [of the Nauvoo City Council], [Smith] read aloud and denied the charges in the Expositor. He declared that the Constitution did not authorize the publication of libel. . . . Hyrum Smith pronounced the paper a nuisance. Another councilman defined 'nuisance' as anything that disturbed the peace . . . Another councilor found and cited a passage in Blackstone on public wrongs.

"Hyrum suggested that the best solution would be to smash the press and pie the type.

"One councilor by the name of Warrington, a non-Mormon, proposed instead that the council levy a fine of $3,000 for every libel, but [Joseph] Smith protested that not would dare to go to Carthage to prosecute, and that his own life had been threatened there.

"The council found the Expositor guilty of libel, declared it a public nuisance and directed [Smith], as mayor, to have the nuisance removed. [Smith] immediately ordered the marshal, with the aid of troops under Jonathan Dunham, acting major general of the Nauvoo Legion, to destroy the press. . . .

"[That] same day . . . the marshal and a contingent of the Legion marched out at [Smith's] order and wrecked the press, broke down what had been set up . . ., spilled the type into the street and burned every printed sheet in the office."


The Governor of Illinois was not pleased.

Hill writes:

"[In a subsequent meeting with Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage, Governor Ford] . . . came to the conclusion that the proceedings of the Nauvoo City Council, court and mayor had been illegal on many counts . . .

"In [a] message [delivered to Joseph Smith] and the City Council . . . Ford said:

"'I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it.

"'There are many newspapers in this state which have been wrongfully abusing me [Ford] for more than a year, and yet such is my regard for the liberty of the press and the rights of a free people in a republican government that I would shed the last drop of my blood to protect those presses from any illegal violence.’

"Ford continued that the Mormons had violated at least four principles of the Constitution: that the press should be free, that proprietors of a libelous press may be brought to trial but had the right to give evidence, that the people should not be subject to search and seizure of their property without due process and that there should be no union of legislative and judicial powers in the same body. . . .

“[Joseph and Hyrum Smith], John Taylor, Porter Rockwell, William W. Phelps and thirteen other members of the Nauvoo City Council were [eventually] charged with riot in destroy the . . . and were released on bond of five hundred dollars each, to appear at the next term of the circuit court.


(Donna Hill, Joseph Smith, the First Mormon: The definitive story of a complex man and the people who knew him (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1977], pp. 2, 393-95, 399-400, 402, 410), emphasis added
_____


Mormon writer William E. Bennett admits that Smith’s criminal assault on the offices of a free press resulted in his ultimate undoing:

”’[The destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor] proved to be the spark which ignited all the smoldering fires of opposition into one great flame . . . The cry that the ‘freedom of the press’ was being violated, united the factions seeking the overthrow of the Saints as perhaps nothing else would have done.’ . . ."

After citing Bennett, author Richard Abanes further details the legal entanglements now closing fast around Smith:

In response to Smith’s actions, those opposing the Mormon prophet filed a complaint against him in Hancock County, Illinois, claiming that Smith had violated the freedom of the press. Smith was arrested, but quickly tried in Nauvoo and released. The opposition immediately accused Smith of manipulating the law. Suddenly, the familiar thread of mob violence surrounded Nauvoo. Smith declared martial law . . . and put his troops on full alert.

Illinois Governor Ford then stepped into the situation, demanding that Smith give himself up to be tried in Carthage, Illinois. But [Smith], along with his brother, Hyrum, decided instead to flee into Iowa. Once there, however, they began to have misgivings about running from the law.

“First, they had abandoned their flock, which produced in them a significant degree of guilt.

Second, their presence in Iowa did not insure their safety since that territory’s governor had never agreed to ignore Missouri’s extradition order for Smith on [an] old charge of treason.

“Third, Smith’s departure had left the Saints with virtually no leadership since many of the loyal apostles were away on missions.

“Fourth, a messenger informed Smith that the Nauvoo Legion had divided between those who wanted to defend the city and those who wanted to flee.

So back across the Mississippi both he and Hyrum journeyed, continuing on to Carthage, where they were placed in the town’s jailhouse.”


(Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church[New York, New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002], p. 198), emphasis added
_____


Even the LDS -biased and -published Encyclopedia of Mormonism has been forced to admit that Smith’s illegal assault on the offices of a free press provided ample reason for his arrest:

[Smith’s prompt order to] the city marshal to destroy the press and burn all the copies of the paper . . . justified or not, played into the hands of the opposition. It riled anti-Mormon sentiment throughout Hancock County and provided substance for the charges used by the opposition to hold Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail, where he was murdered on June 27, 1844.”

(Reed C. Durham, Jr., “Nauvoo Expositor,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 3, p. 997), emphasis added
_____


Indeed, the “substance” to which Mormonism’s Encyclopedia blandly refers was broadly outlined in the Nauvoo Expositor--that is, before Smith destroyed the press in a futile attempt to cover up the illegal and immoral acts of himself and his associates--and which was subsequently followed by the destruction of other private property owned by those who had published the newspaper. These acts of lawlessness quickly formed the legal justification for the arrest and imprisonment of Smith at Carthage:

”On June 7th, 1844, the first and only edition of the Nauvoo Expositor was published. This paper exposed polygamy and some of the other illegal activities of Church leaders. Smith ordered this printing press destroyed. He also ordered all copies of this newspaper to be confiscated and burned.

“The next day a mill and some other buildings belonging to the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, and others who printed the Nauvoo Expositor were also destroyed. These men and their families who dared to question Smith’s unlimited power were forced to flee Nauvoo for their lives! Smith and his outlaws were on a rampage.

“Soon after the Nauvoo Expositor incident, several warrants were issued by state and county authorities for the arrest of Joseph [and] Hyrum [Smith], and a number of other Church leaders. Charges included treason against the State of Illinois, polygamy, adultery, resisting arrest, destruction of property, and perjury.

“These new charges, in addition to . . . old Ohio and Missouri charges along with [an] outstanding warrant for high treason by the President of the United States certainly justify calling Smith an ‘outlaw.’
Unfortunately, Smith was turned into a martyr before he could stand trial for his crimes.”


(Arza Evans, The Keystone of Mormonism [St. George, Utah: Keystone Books, Inc., 2003], p. 162), emphasis added
_____


Non-Mormon Historians Also Conclude That Smith Violated the Law in Ordering the Demolition of the Nauvoo Expositor

Noted journalists Richard N. and Joan K. Ostling, dispassionately report the events surrounding the irrational and illegal trashing of the Expositor on the orders of a deeply desperate Smith:

”In the context of the times, and for dissidents [in Nauvoo] who had been denied a public forum, [the Expositor’s] writers were relatively restrained in their wording. The paper advanced a desire for a ‘reformation in the Church,’ ‘hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, striking this blow at tyranny and oppression.’

“It argued against polygamy, political intrigue, ‘false doctrines’ such as the ‘doctrine of many Gods’ preached in Smith’s [King] Follett sermon, the habeas corpus provision of the city charter, Smith’s participation in Nauvoo land speculation, and acknowledgment of ‘any man as king or law-giver to the church, for Christ is our only king and law-giver.’

“Robert Foster and William and Jane Law included signed affidavits that they had read the text of the prophet’s secret revelation on plural marriage, and that [Smith’s] brother Hyrum had introduced the revelation in secret council.

“An emergency meeting of Nauvoo’s city council was called . . . Since polygamy was not legal in Illinois (and not publicly acknowledged by the church until 1852 from the safe vantage point of Utah), Hyrum Smith blandly reaffirmed past official denials of plural marriage, assuring the council that his brother’s 1843 revelation was not for modern times; it referred only to ancient days. Therefore, the Expositor had libeled Smith.

“The Expositor, of course, was a clear threat to the prophet’s control of Nauvoo. In addition to the publicly denied polygamy, some of Smith’s political activities represented a radical break from the normal parameters of Jacksonian democracy: Smith knew that someone had betrayed him by giving information to Foster and Law. . . . But [Smith], as mayor of Nauvoo, declared action was essential because the Expositor faction would ‘destroy the peace of the city’ and foment a ‘mob spirit.’”


The Ostlings then cut Smith an undeserved break, but still leave him a criminal:

“With the backing of his Council, Smith ordered that the new paper be smashed and all possible copies of the press run destroyed. The spirit of the Bill of Rights may thus have been grossly violated, but technically, under Illinois law at the time and Nauvoo’s charter, the only crime committed by Smith . . . was a violation of privacy rights. The following day Law was informed of a murder plot against him and his associates. Aware of the prophet’s security forces and the well-armed Legion, Law and Foster fled with their families from Nauvoo.

Then, commenting on how the Mormon Church has historically misrepresented the events surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, the Ostlings describe the brash LDS propaganda film, “Legacy,” which became a popular, featured fixture for faithful Mormons flocking to Temple Square:

”Smith dies off-camera with someone crying, ‘They’ve killed him! They’ve murdered Joseph Smith at the Carthage Jail!’ There is no scene that shows the smashing of the Expositor press or gives a real clue to the issues raised by the newspaper. The drama and scenery of the trek are so beautifully photographed that many Mormons [saw] the movie over and over, every time they visit[ed] Temple Square.”

(Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, [San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999], pp. 15-16, 242), emphasis added
_____



A Prominent Resident of Nauvoo At the Time of the Expositor’s Destruction Expresses Uncertainty Over the Legality of Smith’s Demolition Order

Historian H. Michael Marquardt sets the scene:

”Joseph Smith . . . commanded the city marshal to destroy the printing press, pi the type in the street, and burn all the Expositor papers.

“William Clayton reported:

“’The city council passed a resolution declaring the printing press on the hill a “nuisance” and ordered it destroyed, in not moved in three hours notice. About sundown the police gathered at the Temple . . . and after organizing, proceeded to the office and demolished the press and scattered the type.’

“Vilate Kimball wrote to her [Mormon apostle] husband Heber about the activities of that day:

“’Nauvoo was a scene of confusion last night. Some [one] hundred of the Brethren turned out and burned the printing press, and all the apparatus pertaining to the office of the opposite party; this was done by order of the City Council. They had only published one paper, which is considered a public nuisance, but I do not know whether it will be considered so in the eyes of the Law or not. They have sworn revenge, and no doubt they will have it.’”


(H. Michael Marquardt, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844 [Longwood, Florida: Xulon Press, 2005], pp. 632-33), emphasis added
_____


Giving Oaks the Benefit of the Doubt, He Still Comes Up Empty-handed and Empty-headed

Even if, as some have suggested, existing law in 1844 was unclear on the matter of the legality of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, it was nonetheless a matter of law at the time that the city of Nauvoo would have required Illinois state sanction in order to take action against the newspaper:

"Even without an [authorizing city] ordinance, . . . the city of Nauvoo could have relied upon the long-existing common law doctrines of nuisance and libel. The city might also have acted upon the common law of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use.

"Such a taking, however, would have required, under the Illinois 'Takings Clause,' that the taking be approved by the Illinois general assembly, . . . that just compensation be given (Art. VIII, clause 11)."


("Nauvoo Expositor," at "Wikipedia," http://www.answers.com/topic/nauvoo-expositor ), emphasis added
_____


Summing Up Smith: Damn the Constitution, Full Speed Ahead

As Loren Franck writes in his "Ten Lies I Told as a Missionary:"

"It did not matter that they [the Nauvoo City Council] did not have legal authority to [destroy the presses of the Nauvoo Expositor. . . .

“It did not matter that the sole reason for declaring it a 'public nuisance' was that it publicly dared to state that Joseph Smith was a polygamist and had established a political Kingdom of God on earth, both of which were true. . . .

“The press had to go and the Mayor, conveniently none other than Joseph Smith himself, saw to it with a vengeance."


(Loren Franck, “Ten Lies I Told as a Missionary,” at http://newsletters.cephasministry.com/mormonism_03_03.html ), emphasis added
_____


Sigh . . .

It must be tough being a Mormon apologist when there is so much to apologize for.
topic image
Dallin Oaks--The Overblown, The Underwhelming And The Nonprincipled
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, at 07:34 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks, the shameless excuse-maker for Joseph Smith, the press-destroying criminal--should be regarded as a profound embarrassment to those solidly grounded in the legal profession.

http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_st...
_____


Lying Lawyer for the Lord

This, despite Neal Maxwell's posterior-kissing boast to me in September 1993 (in the presence of Oaks whose favor he was also shamelessly currying) that he (Maxwell) had been instrumental in getting Oaks called into the Quorum of the Twelve because, Maxwell said, the Church needed Oaks' legal expertise.

This was the same conversation in which Oaks privately confessed to me that Boyd K. Packer was out of his league (as well as out of bounds) when Packer intervened in the excommmunication of Paul Toscano; that it was Oaks'--not Packer's--responsibility to handle matters of Church discipline, as he (Oaks) had been chosen to rewrite the rules in the Church Handbook of Instructions; that, thanks to Packer, Toscano would probably sue the Mormon Church for violation of Toscano's ecclesiastical rights; and that Packer was ultimately a "grizzly bear" who could not be "stage managed."

Oaks then preceeded to lie about Packer's involvement in Toscano's ecclesiastical execution (on the record, no less) to a newspaper reporter during the public controversy surrounding the LDS hierachy's ham-handed hanging of the "September Six."
_____


Subpoena? We Don't Need to Honor No Stinkin' Subpoena

Oaks also admitted to me in personal conversation that the Mormon Church had purposely decided not to cooperate with the Salt Lake City police department's investigation of the Mark Hofmann murders, by refusing to honor a subpoena calling for the turnover to the SLPD of the papers of William McClellin.

In this regard, Oaks told me that the Church had unilaterally decided that police detectives didn't need what the LDS Church had in its possession because, he claimed, the papers that the Church controlled were from McClellin's earlier, believing days and not from his later apostate period.

Oaks told me, as well, that the Mormon Church--even if it wanted to--could not have cooperated with Salt Lake law enforcement on its subpoena because the order from the Salt Lake police for the McClellin documents was made at a time when the General Authorities were out of the office on scheduled vacation, thus leaving, Oaks claimed, no one to make an authorized decision on whether or not to assist the police.

Oaks also informed me, curiously, that it was only later--when the LDS Church supposedly actually examined the papers in the McClellin collection--that it realized the collection's contents were not germaine to the Hofmann police investigation.

The trouble is, Oaks had told me that the Mormon Church already was aware of the collection's contents when it refused to cooperate with the subpoena--because it had concluded they were not relevant to the Hofmann investigation and therefore off-limits to the police for purposes of their criminal probe.
_____


Scraping the Bottom of the Barrister's Barrel

This is the man--Dallin Oaks--whom the LDS Church picks for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as its premier legal beagle.

Good gawd.

Is this the best the Mormons can do--appoint a consumate, amoral apologist?

Apparently, obviously and predictably so.

Dallin Oaks is a hired gun of modest legal skills, excessive ego and stunted morals--a person whose professional abilities have been overhyped by Mormons desperate for someone with supposed "smarts" to carry their kooky and corrupt banner.

An individual who, corrupted by power, has prostituted his personal conscience, sullied his judicial career and brought shame upon the legal profession in order to further his own interests, in calculated alignment with those of the Mormon Cult--the latter which butters his bread and provides him a position of authority within a primitive, patriarchal, outcast caste system where he is worshipped and followed in odd awe by the blindly obedient.


In short, Dallin Oaks might best be regarded as a jurist's and a gentleman's joke.
topic image
More From Deceptive Dallin: What Oaks Has Said In Private, Vs. Public, About The Book Of Mormon
Wednesday, Mar 1, 2006, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
What Dallin Oaks Publicly Feeds the Masses About the Book of Mormon, Compared to What He Admits About It Behind Closed Doors

What does Mormon Apostle Dallin H. Oaks believe and speak in private about the foundation of the Book of Mormon, as contrasted to what he proclaims from behind the pulpit?

Has his public testimony always been in agreement with his private observations?

The comparisons should speak for themselves.
_____


Behind the Mormon Curtain with Oaks About the Book of Mormon

On 9 September 1993, my wife Mary Ann and I met with Oaks and fellow Apostle Neal A. Maxwell in Maxwell’s Salt Lake City Church office, where we discussed in some detail matters relating to Mormon doctrine, history and policy.

During the meeting, we took notes. Later the same day, after we had returned to our home in Arizona, we recorded our recollections.

Approximately six weeks after our meeting with Oaks and Maxwell--on 29 October 1993–Oaks spoke publicly on the Book of Mormon in a sermon entitled, “The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," which he delivered at the annual dinner for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in Provo, Utah.

For a text of his banquet remarks, see:

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=30andtable=transcripts

http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/bom/Oaks_Historicity.htm
_____


What follows is a compare-and-contrast examination of what Oaks told us in our private meeting with him and Maxwell concerning his views of the Book of Mormon, compared to what he publicly told the FARMS audience a few weeks later at their Provo banquet.

Pay particular attention to the similarities and, more interestingly, to the differences between Oaks’ private and public observations on the Book of Mormon--the keystone, supposedly, of his Mormon faith.
_____


Topic: Plagiarisms in the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

In our meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, Mary Ann began by explaining to them that she was sincerely trying to do what the Mormon Church had admonished its members to do: namely, study the scriptures.

She informed them that the more she examined Mormonism's scriptural texts, the more she found contradictions between the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.

Mary Ann informed the two apostles that she was having a difficult time reconciling those contradictions. Therefore, she said, she decided to undertake her own personal study of the Book of Mormon--but from another point of view.

She took out a well-used, paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and showed Oaks and Maxwell what she had done with it.

Opening the book and thumbing through its pages, she demonstrated to them how she, in Seminary scripture study cross-referencing style, had color-coded the text for the Spaulding Manuscript, B.H. Roberts' study of parallels between Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews and the Book of Mormon, the King James text of the Book of Isaiah and the King James text of the New Testament--with particular emphasis on the Book of Mormon timeline from 600 BC to 1 BC, when the words of the New Testament had not yet been written.

She then pointed out to Oaks and Maxwell 17 parallels she had discovered between the lives of the Book of Mormon prophet Alma and the New Testament apostle Paul.

She also directed their attention to wording in Alma's letters that was found in exactly the same language as that in Paul's. Mary Ann asked Oaks and Maxwell to explain to her how these things could find their way into the Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann said she noticed how Oaks jumped more eagerly at her question than did Maxwell and how he became quite animated during this portion of the discussion.

She also later noted to me that Oaks was, in some ways, "a little condescending" to her.

Oaks told Mary Ann, "Well, you know, as you've thumbed through your book, it only appears to me that 5% of your book has been marked, so I would say don't throw out the 95% because of the 5%. Don't take the 5% that you have serious questions about and cast out the 95% that is unexplained or, as Steve said, divinely inspired."

(In point of fact, I did not tell Oaks that I felt 95% of the Book of Mormon was divinely inspired, despite his claim to the contrary).

He continued (this time turning to me), "It's like being married to our wives. I'm sure there's more than 5% of me that my wife finds disagreement with, but she puts up with it anyway. It's kind of like being married to the Book of Mormon. Don't let your doubts keep you out of the mainstream."

Oaks and Maxwell challenged Mary Ann to read them something from the Spaulding Manuscript that she felt found parallel in the Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann initially chose an example in which Spaulding described fortresses and earthen banks defended by spikes placed at intervals apart from one another, in order to prevent arrows from coming through. (She later said to me she wished she had offered a better example. Nonetheless, she felt--and I agreed--that it was a comparison of substance).

Mary Ann showed Oaks a pamphlet authored by Vernal Holley, entitled, "Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look," which laid out, among other things, strikingly parallel word combinations between the Spaulding Manuscript and the Book of Mormon.

Oaks' response was that many of the comparisons were "insignificant" and "almost superficial." He dismissed them as being unimportant, arguing that they reflected general concepts which were typical of the day in which Joseph Smith lived.

I replied that I thought the precise ordering of the words in both texts seemed "more than coincidental." Oaks rejected that position. He insisted that the phrases in question represented "common ideas" one could share "across culture and time."

Further, he noted, there was no doctrinal content in the parallels. He asked, "Where's the doctrine? You've only shown me these technical points." I therefore mentioned that the doctrine of polygamy--which was expressly forbidden in the Book of Mormon unless specifically authorized by God--was also the same doctrine found in the Spaulding Manuscript--namely, that the practice was forbidden unless divine permission was granted.

I also pointed out to Oaks the shared centrality between the Book of Mormon and the Spaulding Manuscript in stories featuring a divine figure (Christ, in the Book of Mormon and Labanska, a great teacher in the Spaulding Manuscript).

I encouraged Oaks to read the Spaulding Manuscript for himself. Oaks, however, was dismissive of Spaulding's work and refused to take the offer seriously.

Oaks asked Mary Ann to demonstrate "another example" of "doctrinal evidence" for plagiarisms in Book of Mormon.

Mary Ann turned to Moroni 10, where it speaks of gifts of the spirit (To one is given one gift; to someone else is given another, etc). Mary Ann pointed out to Oaks that, verse for verse--comparing Moroni 10 to First Corinthians 12--the texts were almost exactly the same.

Oaks replied, "That's better," but refused to concede, adding, "Well, it's not word-for-word and it's not the whole chapter."

Mary Ann responded that--it except for some minor variations, such as the phrase, repeated over and over, "and again"--it was, for all intents and purposes, word-for-word.

She asked Oaks how he could explain that Moroni used the same language found in the King James version of the Bible, written hundreds of years after the Book of Mormon was recorded.

Oaks replied that he himself had had the same question while preparing a talk on gifts of the spirit, as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon and the New Testament.

Oaks said he concluded that all three authors were "impressed by the Holy Ghost" to record their thoughts "in this particular manner and in these particular words."
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"In these remarks I will seek to use rational argument, but I will not rely on any proofs. I will approach the question of the historicity of the Book of Mormon from the standpoint of faith and revelation. I maintain that the issue of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is basically a difference between those who rely exclusively on scholarship and those who rely on a combination of scholarship, faith, and revelation.

"Those who rely exclusively on scholarship reject revelation and fulfill Nephi's prophecy that in the last days men 'shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance' (2 Ne. 28:4).

"The practitioners of that approach typically focus on a limited number of issues, like geography or 'horses' or angelic delivery or nineteenth century language patterns. They ignore or gloss over the incredible complexity of the Book of Mormon record.

"Those who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation are willing to look at the entire spectrum of issues, content as well as vocabulary, revelation as well as excavation. "

_____


Topic: Book of Mormon Doctrines That Are Supposedly Not the Product of Plagiarisms, but of Divine Revelation

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks offered me some counsel of his own.

"You ought to go through the Book of Mormon, " he said, "and color in all the differences and emphasize the unique and special teachings of the Book of Mormon that don't have any similarities to other sources."

(However, Mary Ann's point for being at the meeting in the first place, as she herself said, was not to talk about or debate differences between the Book of Mormon and Spaulding texts; rather, she wanted to get answers regarding their similarities in areas of story lines, exact wording, etc).
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Scholarship and physical proofs are worldly values. I understand their value, and I have had some experience in using them. Such techniques speak to many after the manner of their understanding.

"But there are other methods and values, too, and we must not be so committed to scholarship that we close our eyes and ears and hearts to what cannot be demonstrated by scholarship or defended according to physical proofs and intellectual reasoning. . . .

"I admire those scholars for whom scholarship does not exclude faith and revelation. It is part of my faith and experience that the Creator expects us to use the powers of reasoning he has placed within us, and that he also expects us to exercise our divine gift of faith and to cultivate our capacity to be taught by divine revelation.

"But these things do not come without seeking. Those who utilize scholarship and disparage faith and revelation should ponder the Savior's question: 'How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?' (John 5:44)."

_____


Topic: God Has Not Yet Provided Final Proofs as to the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

After Oaks and Maxwell presented their respective defenses, Mary Ann again asked them how she should deal with the things she had found in her own Book of Mormon. At this point, Oaks and Maxwell said that the jury was still out.
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Another way of explaining the strength of the positive position on the historicity of the Book of Mormon is to point out that we who are its proponents are content with a standoff on this question.

"Honest investigators will conclude that there are so many evidences that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text that they cannot confidently resolve the question against its authenticity, despite some unanswered questions that seem to support the negative determination. In that circumstance, the proponents of the Book of Mormon can settle for a draw or a hung jury on the question of historicity and take a continuance until the controversy can be retried in another forum."

_____


Topic: The Weight of Evidence For and Against the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks and Maxwell, in their final assessment of evidentiary proof concerning the Book of Mormon, admitted to us that the arguments for and against the book were "equal," with neither side being able to prove whether the Book of Mormon was true or untrue. In the ultimate analysis, they told us, the Book of Mormon had to be accepted on faith.

I responded by telling them that I was attempting to examine both sides of the question and was not convinced that the pro-Book of Mormon side had the advantage.

To the contrary, I told them that I was inclined to believe the advantage lay with the book's critics. I said that because I did not regard the evidence on the Book of Mormon to be equally balanced, I therefore did not believe I was obligated to accept it on faith.

I also expressed the view that if, in fact, there was an evidentiary advantage to one side or the other, that should then allow for the person doing the investigating to make a decision as to Book of Mormon veracity--outside the realm of faith.

Oaks responded by again saying there was no evidence proving or disproving the Book of Mormon.

He placed his right hand over his heart and said, "I get this knot, this warm feeling right here, and that is what I go on."

Oaks told us that he had a conviction that the Book of Mormon was "true." He said that feeling of truthfulness came from a "personal witness."
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

". . . [I]t is our position that secular evidence can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Its authenticity depends, as it says, on a witness of the Holy Spirit.

"Our side will settle for a draw, but those who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon cannot settle for a draw. They must try to disprove its historicity--or they seem to feel a necessity to do this--and in this they are unsuccessful because even the secular evidence, viewed in its entirety, is too complex for that. . . .

"Speaking for a moment as one whose profession is advocacy, I suggest that if one is willing to acknowledge the importance of faith and the reality of a realm beyond human understanding, the case for the Book of Mormon is the stronger case to argue.

"The case against the historicity of the Book of Mormon has to prove a negative. You don't prove a negative by prevailing on one debater's point or by establishing some subsidiary arguments. "

_____


Topic: FARMS' Efforts to Emprically Prove the Book of Mormon

What Oaks Told Us in Private:

Oaks confessed that FARMS sometimes gets "hyperactive" in trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is true.

He said he becomes concerned when FARMS "stops making shields and starts turning out swords," because, he said, "you cannot prove the Book of Mormon out of the realm of faith."

Accepting the Book of Mormon, Oaks said, was ultimately a matter of faith.
_____


What Oaks Said in His Banquet Speech to FARMS:

"Brothers and Sisters, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation--for what you are doing.

"God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies.

"The work that you do is important, it is well-known, and it is appreciated. "
topic image
The Spinning Seer - Or Dallin H. Oaks V's Mohandas K. Gandhi
Thursday, May 4, 2006, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Grey Matter
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
20 years ago, I read a fascinating book, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, by Louis Fischer.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0006...

At the time, I really treasured the book, and I loved the man, Gandhi. I felt blessed for having read about him.

I figured that next to Jesus, Gandhi must be the greatest human being to walk the planet. That was in spite of the cult's teaching (and I was a devoted cult member at the time) that Joseph Smith was the greatest dude, next to Jesus.

Well, now in my 40's, I am the opinion that perhaps Gandhi is the greatest of them all (after all, if Jesus did live, he doesn't qualify for the contest, on account of Him being a God and all that).

Actually, perhaps there is no greatest. The human family is not a contest. And incidentally, if there is a league table, Joseph, in my view, is down at the bottom with the other low-life.

Anyway, back to Gandhi.

Gandhi was an English-educated lawyer - and a slightly unusual lawyer. When a client, who had committed an offence (criminal or civil), asked Gandhi to defend him in court, Gandhi would always counsel the client to plead guilty and accept the consequences. For Gandhi, truth, honesty and integrity were paramount. He would not defend a guilty man or woman - he would not lie on anyone's behalf.

Now consider Dallin H. Oaks.

Oaks is USA-educted lawyer, a justice of the Utah Supreme Court - and unfortunately, a slightly bent lawyer, actually the worst type. He was hired by the mormon cult to be a premanent peddler of deceit. For Oaks, truth, honesty and integrity are of little value. He will defend the guilty mormon cult, and has no problem lying on the cult's behalf.

It's funny, but the next time a vacancy for a lawyer crops up on the cult's board of 15 prophets, you can be sure they will never pick a Mohandas Gandhi, or a Bob McCue, or a T-Bone.

You can be certain they will pick a Dallin Oaks.

They need someone who can lie through their teeth.
topic image
Dallin Oaks In June Ensign: Quit Hanging Out And Start Dating
Thursday, May 25, 2006, at 09:46 AM
Original Author(s): Lunar Quaker
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
We all knew it was coming. The church's growth is being threatened by young single adults who are taking longer and longer to get married. And people aren't having as many kids as they used to. The powers that be are pulling out the big guns now.

The June ensign just came to our house. I perused it, and there is some big talk about "twenty-something Peter Pans" who don't want to grow up. Dallin Oaks is saying that twenty-somethings need to quit "hanging out" and start DATING! Here are Dallin's reasons that dating has become an "endangered species":
1. The cultural tides in our world run strongly against commitment in family relationships...Divorce has been made legally easy, and childbearing has become unpopular.

2. The leveling effect of the women's movement has contributed to discourage dating. As women's options have increased and some women have become more aggressive, some men have become reluctant to take traditional male initiatives, such as asking for dates, lest they be thought to qualify for the dreaded label "male chauvinist."

3. Hanging out is glamorized on TV programs about singles.

4. The meaning and significance of a "date" has changed in such a way as to price dating out of the market... a date has to be an expensive production.

5. For many years, the church has counseled people not to date before age 16. Perhaps some young adults, especially men, have carried that wise counsel to excess and determined not to date before 26 or maybe even 36.
Some classic quotes from the article:
Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It's marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it.

My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football. Marriage is not a group activity--at least, not until the children come along in goodly numbers.
Check out this counsel to young single women:
If you are just marking time waiting for a marriage prospect, stop waiting. You may never have the opportunity for a suitable marriage in this life, so stop waiting and start moving. Prepare yourself for life--even a single life--by education, experience, and planning. Don't wait for happiness to be thrust upon you. Seek it out in service and learning. Make a life for yourself. And trust in the Lord.
Well, folks, needless to say, I'm speechless. I was hoping that the church had given up on this kind of talk long ago. Apparently not. Seriously, this article infuriated me. So many kids get into trouble because of all this ridiculous marriage and kids talk that the GAs are dishing out.

Link to Article: http://www.lds.org/broadcast/ces/Oaks...
topic image
Dallin Oaks: "Don't Write Me A Letter"
Monday, May 29, 2006, at 06:33 AM
Original Author(s): Shane Ak
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
There is something else in the “Dating Versus Hanging Out” Ensign article that got my attention. Oaks went off on how members shouldn’t write him letters about his talks. He said, “I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility.”

He offered as an example the following story of a man that once wrote him a letter:

“He explained that he had been a machine gunner during the Korean War. During a frontal assault, hi machine gun mowed down scores of enemy infantry. Their bodies were piled so high in front of his gun that he and his men had to push them away in order to maintain their field of fire. He had killed a hundred, he said, and now he must be going to hell because I had spoken of the Lord’s commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill.’”

What an ass! This guy believes that Oaks speaks for God. He has been living with that traumatic event probably for decades and Oaks probably said some strong words that made this guy question his standing before God.

Oaks seems to think that he is not responsible for what he says. He has the “authority” to tell people how to live and what to think but takes no responsibility for how his words affect his followers.

His comments in this talk also confirm what I have heard – that letters to the Apostles or First Presidency are, as a matter of policy, forwarded to the writer’s Bishop or Stake President so they can address the questions. I’m sorry, but can anyone but Oaks clarify a talk given by Oaks? If I have a question regarding Hinckley’s “I don’t know” statements wouldn’t an answer by anyone other than Hinckley only be their opinion?

Who declares and clarifies doctrine in this church? It appears that nobody does. Bishops and Stake Presidents can’t speak for the church. Any answer they give is merely their opinion. Not to mention that 100 Bishops would probably give 100 different answers!

I guess that’s probably why they do it that way now – so nobody can pin them down to any doctrinal position.

This is just another example of church leaders telling the members what they really think about them – they could care less. Members should be content to be sheep, fodder, pawns. They are to obey and not ask questions. Their questions and feelings are not important. Members are not important.
topic image
Oaks Lays Blame At Women's Feet In Ensign Article
Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Gemini
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I read Oak's article about dating vs hanging out.

If women weren't so doggone independent and aggressive due to the women's movement, then men wouldn't be afraid to ask them out on dates. Not only that, but by women letting men hang out and *gasp* feeding them (he called it subsidizing freeloaders) the the men won't "grow up" and start pairing off instead of just hangin out. Oh, and get this...he even says that "hanging out" is glamorized on TV and that contributes to the reason men don't ask women out on dates.

Also, because men are so darned sensitive, if we women aren't kind when we turn down a date, it might hurt the man's feelings so much he won't ask anyone else out...hear that men...you are just a bunch of wussies who can't handle rejection! He also said that women should look for inexpensive and simple dates and not expect expensive ones and certainly not dates that could lead to relationships, at least not until several dates later. And, don't go out on the internet to look, either, you losers.

The fact of the matter is society has changed. Men and women are waiting to get their education and started in their careers before saddling themselves with spouses and children. I think Oak's message (subliminal) is that the longer these young people wait to get hitched, the more prone they are to
have pre-marital sex which will lead to
no temple marriage which might lead to
having fewer children which might lead to
becoming more liberal in their thinking which might lead to
leaving the church thus not paying money to the corporation.
It almost sounds like the church is getting desperate. They can't bring in converts so they have to depend on home growing the numbers in the churcha and it just ain't happenin'.

There were a total of 8 articles that directly or indirectly talked about marriage, dating or keeping the family together. It must certainly be a problem for them to harp on it so hard.
topic image
Elder Dallin H. Oaks On The Absolute Power Of The Gift Of Discernment
Wednesday, Jun 7, 2006, at 07:24 AM
Original Author(s): Silence Dogood
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
"In order to perform their personal ministries, Church leaders cannot be suspicious and questioning of each of the hundreds of people they meet each year. Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love. In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious."
Dallin H. Oaks, "Recent Events Involving Church History and Forged Documents," Ensign, Oct. 1987, 63.

This quote is part of a talk delivered by Oaks, attempting to explain how the Church got fooled by Mark Hofmann, who cost the Church thousands of dollars and the lives of two of its members.
topic image
Oaks Explains Why His Lies Aren't Lies - Teaches Future Church Leaders The True Order Of Lying
Wednesday, Aug 2, 2006, at 08:43 AM
Original Author(s): Lies And Damn Lies
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Today I read for the first time this speech given in 1993 by Dallin Oaks to BYU laws students and faculty. I suggest you read the entire speech since I have taken some of his remarks out of context below.

This speech combined with Packer's infamous "Not all things that are true are useful" speech goes a long way toward explaining the justification for the institutional lying that the church has engaged in from the beginning.

This speech should rightfully be titled "The True Order of Lying--How to lie without really lying", by Dallin Oaks

http://lds-mormon.com/oakslying.shtml

Out-of-context Highlights:

To be “true” includes appearing to be what we really are. To speak the truth is to give an accurate account of the facts.

A lie is most effective when it can travel incognito in good company or when it can be so intermarried with the truth that we cannot determine its lineage.

The lies of public officials may be the most damaging lies in terms of the number of people that they mislead and the consequences of the deception.

The lies of public officials, like the lies of religious leaders, are also extremely damaging in the way they degrade the moral tone of the entire community. Officials' lies and clergymen's lies are especially damaging to impressionable young people.

….Scriptural instructions establish that the obligation to tell the truth does not require one to tell everything he or she knows in all circumstances.

Indeed, we may have a positive duty to keep many things secret or confidential.

When the truth is constrained by other obligations, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a reason.

A lie is also furthered when one remains silent in a circumstance where he or she has a duty to speak and disclose. In other words, a person lies by concealing when he or she has a duty to reveal. Some relationships and some circumstances create such a duty.

….When there is no duty to reveal all and when one has not made an affirmative statement implying that all has been revealed, it is simply incorrect to equate silence with lying.

….There are many sacred things that we do not discuss.

There are things we simply should not discuss or reveal. Sometimes we are silent out of loyalty to those we love. Sometimes we are silent because the Lord has confided in us, and we know we are not appointed to be the means of disseminating the knowledge to others. Sometimes there are other reasons.

To tell the truth is a general religious obligation, whether we are sworn or not.

In contrast to the obligation to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, the obligation to “tell the whole truth” is subject to an important qualification. In a judicial proceeding, the sworn duty to tell the whole truth is confined to matters relevant to the proceeding. It does not extend to other subjects. The duty to tell the whole truth is also limited by special legal protections, such as the privilege against self-incrimination.

The difficult question is whether we are morally responsible to tell the whole truth. When we have a duty to disclose, we are morally responsible to do so. Where there is no duty to disclose, we have two alternatives. We may be free to disclose if we choose to do so, but there will be circumstances where commandments, covenants, or professional obligations require us to remain silent.
topic image
Will Lie For Food: Dallin H. Oaks Tells Two Different Stories About Farms
Friday, Oct 20, 2006, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Sourcerer
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
INTRODUCTION

Mormon apostles deceptively say one thing in public--and quite another in private.

Dallin H. Oaks is a modern-day Exhibit A of that morally-depleted reality.

Examine, for example, what Oaks has said behind closed doors about FARMS (in a conversation he assumed would never be reported).

Then, contrast Oaks' privately-expressed criticisms of FARMS with what he subsequently uttered about FARMS in a patently disingenuous display of situational schmoozing--expressed, no less, at a banquet hosted by FARMS, where Oaks, as the featured speaker, was being both worshipped and fed. (No wonder he was in the mood to be so generous from the podium, despite what he felt about FARMS in private). _____

PRAISING FARMS ON A FULL STOMACH--AND A FULL EGO

On October 29, 1993, at the FARMS banquet in question held in Provo, Utah, Oaks concluded his after-dinner speech, "The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," with this glowing tribute to FARMS apologists:

"Brothers and sisters, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith and revelation--for what you are doing. God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The work that you do is important, it is well-known and it is appreciated.

"I testify of Jesus Christ, whom we serve, whose Church this is. I invoke his blessings upon you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=3... _____

DISS AND TELL: CRITICIZING FARMS IN PRIVATE

Contrast Oaks' public praise of FARMS with his behind-the-scenes digs at FARMS just a few weeks earlier.

In a personal, face-to-face conversation between Steve Benson, Oaks and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell on September 9, 1993, in Maxwell's Salt private Salt Lake City Church office, Oaks told Benson that FARMS was guilty of overdoing its apologetics in behalf of the Book of Mormon:

" . . . Oaks acknowledged that FARMS sometimes gets 'hyperactive' in trying to prove that The Book of Mormon is true. He said he becomes concerned when FARMS 'stops making shields and starts turning out swords,' because, he said, 'you cannot prove the Book of Mormon out of the realm of faith.' Accepting the Book of Mormon, Oaks said, was ultimately a matter of faith."

http://twincentral.com/site/pages/art..., Part 9 _____

CONCLUSION

Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks speaks with forked tongue on FARMS.

In closed-door conversation, Oaks jabs Mormonism's premier group of apologetic water carriers being for too strenuous in its defense of Book of Mormon historicity.

Invited to speak before them at a banquet in his honor, however, Oaks praises FARMS for what it is doing in defense of the Book of Mormon--and then caps it off by blessing them for it in the name of God.

In normal converstation among honest adults, the appropriate term for this kind of schizoid behavior on Oaks' part is: "Lying Hypocrite."

In Mormon circles, it's called "Business As Usual."
topic image
Elder Oaks To BYU-Idaho Women: Your Destiny Is To Be A Wife And A Mother In Zion
Thursday, Nov 16, 2006, at 06:49 AM
Original Author(s): From Ohio (cleveland Stake)
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On Nov 7, 2006, Elder Dallin Oaks and his wife spoke at the Brigham Young University–Idaho Devotional.

This talk is a gem.

http://www.byui.edu/Presentations/Tra...

Here is a few highlights:

ELDER OAKS ON WHEN THE SAINTS WILL RETURN TO MISSOURI:
"My second subject of wisdom concerns looking beyond the mark. In the Book of Mormon the Prophet Jacob described a people who “despised the words of plainness, . . . and sought for things . . . they could not understand” (Jacob 4:14). He said this caused them to fall because when persons are “looking beyond the mark,” God takes away plainness and gives them what they sought¾things they cannot understand.

We see this today. For example, some persons write General Authorities asking when we will be returning to Missouri or how we should plan to build up the New Jerusalem. Others want to know details about the Celestial Kingdom, such as the position of a person who lives a good life but never ever marries.

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. What I do know is that persons worrying about such things are probably neglecting to seek a firmer understanding and a better practice of the basic principles of the gospel that have been given to them with words of plainness by the scriptures and by the servants of the Lord."
ELDER OAKS ON THE ROLE OF WOMEN:
"Sisters, don’t fall for the worldly urging that women should emulate men in various masculine characteristics. That is not what the Lord created you to do. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that women should not be doctors or lawyers or any particular occupation that fits their circumstances. To use lawyering as an example, what I am saying is that women should not attempt to be manly lawyers. Nor should women emulate the worldly ways of womanhood. Your destiny is to be a wife and a mother in Zion, not a model and a streetwalker in Babylon."
SISTER OAKS ON HER FIRST MONTHS OF MARRIAGE TO ELDER OAKS
"When we first married, I was working as a consultant for a publishing house based in Boston. I never cooked except once a year. Poor Elder Oaks. The first few months we were married I burned everything, even grilled cheese sandwiches. I knew very little about housework; I didn’t even know how to match socks. Elder Oaks wears only two colors. black and blue. I called my married sister in tears and asked how to sort them and she told me to go stand by the window."
topic image
Off With His Baker's-Capped Head! Dallin Oaks In Flagrant Violation Of Official LDS Doctrine
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2007, at 01:02 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On September 8, 1998, Mormon Church president, prophet, seer and all-around present-day designated revelator/doctrinal determinator Gordon B. Hinckley declared to the world on the "Larry King Live" show that polygamy was a big, fat gospel and illegal no-no:

"I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal."

http://www.onlineutah.com/polygamyhin...

Yet, Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, in open defiance of his Ultimate Leader's condemnation of this heinous practice, solemnly told a BYU devotional audience on January 29, 2002, in a sermon entitled "Timing," that he not only endorsed polygamy but that he was, in fact, himself a temple-practicing, eternal lifer two-wifer:

"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."

http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=viewanda=1...

Very well, then, Mr. Oaks.

Do you have any final words as you are given your last wish for a cup of lime-green Jello, sprinkled with carrots, before being summarily, excommunicatably executed by secret temple throat slit?
topic image
Does Dallin Oaks Really Believe that Moses Produced the Pentateuch?
Monday, Jul 23, 2007, at 07:07 AM
Original Author(s): Westberkeleyflats
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Oaks in his PBS interview:
The book of Job is one of the books of the Old Testament. I do not know which prophet brought it forth. We know that Moses brought forth what’s called the Pentateuch, and it is part of the great religious tradition of Judaism and Christianity. The book of Job I cut quite a bit of slack in where that came from and how literal one takes it because its povenance is quite different than the provenance of the first five books of the Old Testament. The first five books of the Old Testament I give as an example like the New Testament. We know their provenance. Subject to a lot of questions we’d like to have answered, we know who wrote the book of Luke, and who wrote John, and Paul wrote his letters, and so on – a lot about their provenance. They originate with prophets; so did the Pentateuch, so did the Book of Mormon. They’re on the same footing.
Does Oaks really believe that Moses produced the Pentateuch or that it is known who wrote the, nonsynoptic, gospel of John? I thought it was the purpose of FARMS to keep apostles from making fools of themselves by, for example, making statements that anyone who's taken a freshman-level Old Testament or New Testament survey course would laugh at.

And to think that he expressed dismay with Packer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document...
topic image
Oaks Criticizes "Soccer" And Team Sports
Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007, at 04:20 AM
Original Author(s): Rollo Tomasi
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Here's another juicy one from GC, as reported in today's Trib:
Apostle Dallin H. Oaks urged Mormon parents to limit their children's extracurricular activities.

"Team sports and technology toys like video games and the Internet are already winning away the time of our children and youth," Oaks said. "Some young men and women are skipping church youth activities or are unavailable for family time in order to participate in soccer leagues or to pursue various entertainments."

They are "amusing themselves to death," he said, "spiritual death."
You'd think the Church would get the message that if youth activities were not so damned boring, the kids might show up. Instead of being "amused to death," they are "bored to death" at Church.
topic image
Oaks's Famous Salamander Speech
Monday, Dec 24, 2007, at 08:29 AM
Original Author(s): Huckleberry Hinckley
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
See: http://ldsces.org/general%20authority...

Cult leader mentality on full display:
"President Gordon B. Hinckley described another kind of lack of context in his talk at October conference two years ago. His example applies to all writings on Church history and biography:?

"'We have those critics who appear to wish to cull out of a vast panorama of information those items which demean and belittle some of the men and women of the past who worked so hard in laying the foundation of this great cause. They find readers of their works who seem to delight in picking up these tidbits, and in chewing them over and relishing them. In so doing they are savoring a pickle, rather than eating a delicious and satisfying dinner of several courses."

"'We recognize that our forebears were human. They doubtless made mistakes. . . . But the mistakes were minor, when compared with the marvelous work which they accomplished. To highlight the mistakes and gloss over the greater good is to draw a caricature. Caricatures are amusing, but they are often ugly and dishonest. A man may have a blemish on his cheek and still have a face of beauty and strength, but if the blemish is emphasized unduly in relation to his other features, the portrait is lacking in integrity. . . .?

"'I do not fear truth. I welcome it. But I wish all of my facts in their proper context, with emphasis on those elements which explain the great growth and power of this organization.' (In Conference Report, Oct. 1983, p. 68; or Ensign, Nov. 1983, p. 46.)?

"In short, readers need to be sensitive to the reality that historical and biographical facts can only contribute to understanding when they are communicated in context.?"
More:
"Satan can even use truth to promote his purposes. Truth can be used unrighteously. Facts, severed from their context, can convey an erroneous impression. Persons who make true statements out of an evil motive, such as those who seek to injure another, use the truth unrighteously. A person who preaches the truths of the gospel 'for the sake of riches and honor' (Alma 1:16) commits the sin of priestcraft. Persons who reveal truths that they hold under obligations of confidentiality, such as medical doctors, or lawyers, or bishops who have heard confessions, are guilty of wrongdoing. And a person who learns some embarrassing fact and threatens to reveal it unless he is paid off commits a crime we call blackmail, even if the threatened disclosure is true.?

"The fact that something is true is not always a justification for communicating it. While instructing the Corinthian Saints not to partake of meat offered in sacrifice to idols, the Apostle Paul explained,?

"'All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not' (1 Corinthians 10:23).?

"By the same token, some things that are true are not edifying or appropriate to communicate. Readers of history and biography should ponder that moral reality as part of their effort to understand the significance of what they read.?"
It's a classic "some things that are true are not useful."

Doubtless none of the Oakster's listeners bothered to realize that someone who witholds truth because it might not be "faith-promoting" are also engaging in deception.

This next paragraph is perfect from what comes later:
"As members of the Church, we have the gift of the Holy Ghost. If we will use our spiritual powers of discernment, we will not be misled by the lies and half-truths Satan will circulate in his attempts to deceive us and to thwart the work of God.?"
You can't help but laugh after reading the above paragraph and then reading these subsequent ones:
"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word salamander in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W. W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word salamander in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of salamander, which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s. That meaning, which is listed second in a current edition of Webster's New World Dictionary, is "a spirit supposed to live in fire" (2d College ed. 1982, s.v. "salamander"). Modern and ancient literature contain many examples of this usage.?

"A spirit that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the angel Moroni: a personage in the midst of a light, whose countenance was "truly like lightning" and whose overall appearance "was glorious beyond description" (Joseph Smith-History 1:32). As Joseph Smith wrote later, "The first sight [of this personage] was as though the house was filled with consuming fire" (History of the Church, 4:536). Since the letter purports only to be Martin Harris's interpretation of what he had heard about Joseph's experience, the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.?

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship with or membership in the Church? The media should make more complete disclosures, but Latter-day Saint readers should also be more sophisticated in their evaluation of what they read.?"
Discernment and the Holy Ghost (TM) sure must be powerful. They obviously helped Dallin out quite a bit to know that the Salamander Letter was a fradulent document created by Mark Hofmann before he endorsed it talking to mormon "educators."
topic image
Oaks: Spiritual Knowledge Is Different Than Regular Old Knowledge
Sunday, Apr 6, 2008, at 08:22 AM
Original Author(s): Lincoln
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On Saturday April 5th, 2008 conference, Oaks tries too hard to be an imposing presence and comes off as a bit statuesque with his trademark outstretched arms. This talk upset me because Oaks is again playing word games with the membership, and not really revealing any truths that God or an angel told him about.
"The idea that all truth is based on scientific evidence is simply untrue."
As if you have the right to talk about truth. You lied to the media about BKP's participation in the Toscano excommunication. You have attempted to hide the truth of Joseph Smith's polygamy by limiting the influence of historical books. Whatever Dallin. The only way you can talk about truth is if you respect the truth, which you do not. STFU.
"Things of God are spiritually discerned. That knowledge does not come from books or scientific proof."
Well if that's that case, I guess we can just toss the Book of Mormon right out the window. It's a book. So if books are all worthless at finding out about God, that means the Book of Mormon is worthless as well.)
"When we know spiritual truths by spiritual means, we can know with the same surety its truthfulness, as a scientist when discovering scientific evidence"
This is just pure BS, nothing much has to be said other than, are you freaking kidding me?
"We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it."
Here we go again, putting the cart before the horse. So its okay to tell a lie, because at the moment of telling the lie, God will tell you its true, right? How convoluted can this get?
"We encourage children to define themselves by their growing testimonies, not their athletic or academic achievements."
Well, I guess serving as President of BYU really reinforced his perception of quality education.
"Each of us has two distinct channels to God, the first is Governance which is obedience to the leadership, and the second is Personal Testimony which gives us our knowledge in his existence."
This tricky SOB is trying to tell me that the obedience to the leadership is just as valid a way to God as my own personal testimony. What a snow job.

Oaks makes a great play at trying to differentiate between differing "types of knowledge." He employs a subtle trick attempting to have the membership actually believe that the only way to learn knowledge about spiritual things is from the Spirit. Tricky Dallin. And who trademarks the Spirit? COJCOLDS, right? Nice. Just like last conference, I'm not buying into this shit.
topic image
Dallin Oaks - Like Boyd K. Packer - Instructs Members To Gain A Testimony By Giving It
Thursday, Apr 17, 2008, at 07:04 AM
Original Author(s): Sick Of It
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Mormonism is a religion of extremes, nothing is gray, there is just black and white conviction. In effect, it is never enough to “believe” in Mormonism, or to have “faith” in Mormonism, worthy members are expected to gain a certainty of “Knowledge” that Mormonism is true.

This “testimony” comes through a “personal revelation” from God via the Holy Ghost and is as serious as any testimony offered in a court of law - perhaps more so, because God’s commandment specifically states that “thou shalt not bear FALSE witness”. A testimony - a personal witnessing of fact - is serious stuff for True Bible Believers.

Yet, in the April 2008 General Conference, Dallin Oaks made the following statement:
“Another way to seek a testimony seems astonishing when compared with the methods of obtaining other knowledge. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.”
So, in effect, eventually you GAIN a perfect knowledge from God by routinely pretending in public that you already HAVE that perfect knowledge! All this time you let everyone else continue to think that you’ve already HAD this “revelation” from God when in truth you simply wanted to GET a revelation.

What kind of perverse thinking is this? Yet, to the church, such “technical distinctions” between belief and knowledge don’t seem to matter - why? Because the Church is True anyway, so the end justifies such means.

Teaching people (often young people) to outright lie is obviously not a great issue to Mormon leaders. Soon the members don’t know the difference between lying and honesty anyway.

The message is always this: “Truth comes through feelings”. Just ask any con man about the notion, but remember, the “con” in con man stands for “confidence” . A con man is a person you would trust with your life, such men are totally believable, that’s why they are so effective. Christ said such “Con Men” or “false Prophets” will look just like innocent lambs, but they will eat you alive like the wolves they are inside! Instead, Christ said to analyze their “fruits”, that is; to analyze the outcome of their work. Anyone who teaches you to lie, must be a liar themselves.

And it isn’t just ONE leader, it’s the entire Mormon system. Oaks was only parroting Boyd K. Packer who put it in similar words: “The gaining of a testimony is in the bearing of it.” Clearly this is church policy and uncontested doctrine.

Lying to other members is an essential process, and who would know that better than the Leader/liars themselves.
topic image
What Oaks Said, Of Course, Was That He Is Married To Two Living Women At The Same Time
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
One presently living in the Mormon hereafter and the other presently living on Earth.
"When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer.

"Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married [in the LDS temple] Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side."
(Dallin Oaks, "Timing," speech delivered at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 29 January 2002, http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader...)

According to official Mormon polygamous doctrine, when Oaks moves on to the Mormon hereafter, he will, at that point, be with both of his wives in time and eternal space in a threesome of wedded bliss forever.

Right now, however, he is married to them both at the same time while temporarily waiting to hook up with the two of them later in life (as in Mormon eternal life).

Get it? Of course you do. :)

This polygamous arrangement for Oaks, of course, is due to the Mormon Church's on-going doctrinal practice of performing secret polygamous marriages in its contemporary temples.

You know that, don't you? Of course you do. :)

Mormons believe in polygamy, they practice polygamy--and they lie about polygamy.

You know that, as well, but won't admit it, will you? Of course you won't. :)
topic image
Here Oaks Attempts To Defend His Anti-Criticsm Comments On The PBS Documentary, "The Mormons"
Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
In making his case for censorship, Oaks tells interview Helen Whitney the following (availabe on the LDS Church's own offical media site):

OAKS: "I also said something else that has excited people: that it’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true, because it diminishes their effectiveness as a servant of the Lord. One can work to correct them by some other means, but don’t go about saying that they misbehaved when they were a youngster or whatever. Well, of course, that sounds like religious censorship also.

"But not everything that’s true is useful. I am a lawyer, and I hear something from a client. It’s true, but I’ll be disciplined professionally if I share it because it’s part of the attorney-client privilege. There’s a husband-wife privilege, there’s a priest-penitent privilege, and so on. That’s an illustration of the fact that not everything that’s true is useful to be shared.

"In relation to history, I was speaking in that talk for the benefit of those that write history. In the course of writing history, I said that people ought to be careful in what they publish because not everything that’s true is useful. See a person in context; don’t depreciate their effectiveness in one area because they have some misbehavior in another area – especially from their youth. I think that’s the spirit of that. I think I’m not talking necessarily just about writing Mormon history; I’m talking about George Washington or any other case. If he had an affair with a girl when he was a teenager, I don’t need to read that when I’m trying to read a biography of the Founding Father of our nation.

WHITNEY: "Just one more question on that. In every church, in every person, there’s a shallow territory usually explained away through context. Many find information through the Internet – some would rather find things out about the Church history, doctrine through teachings, rather than the Internet, or other resources.

OAKS: "It’s an old problem, the extent to which official histories, whatever they are, or semi-official histories, get into things that are shadowy or less well-known or whatever. That’s an old problem in Mormonism – a feeling of members that they shouldn’t have been surprised by the fact that this or that happened, they should’ve been alerted to it. I have felt that throughout my life.

"There are several different elements of that. One element is that we’re emerging from a period of history writing within the Church [of] adoring history that doesn’t deal with anything that’s unfavorable, and we’re coming into a period of “warts and all” kind of history. Perhaps our writing of history is lagging behind the times, but I believe that there is purpose in all these things – there may have been a time when Church members could not have been as well prepared for that kind of historical writing as they may be now.

"On the other hand, there are constraints on trying to reveal everything. You don’t want to be getting into and creating doubts that didn’t exist in the first place. And what is plenty of history for one person is inadequate for another, and we have a large church, and that’s a big problem. And another problem is there are a lot of things that the Church has written about that the members haven’t read. And the Sunday School teacher that gives “Brother Jones” his understanding of Church history may be inadequately informed and may not reveal something which the Church has published. It’s in the history written for college or Institute students, sources written for quite mature students, but not every Sunday School teacher that introduces people to a history is familiar with that. And so there is no way to avoid this criticism. The best I can say is that we’re moving with the times, we’re getting more and more forthright, but we will never satisfy every complaint along that line and probably shouldn’t."

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/e...
topic image
The Day LDS Apostle Dallin H. Hoax/Oaks Reportedly Offered To Quit The Quorum Of The Twelve
Sunday, Dec 28, 2008, at 09:14 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Based on reliable information recently shared with me from an inside-the Mormon-beltway Utah source, LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks is said to have seriously considered resigning his position from the Quorum of the Twelve after it was publicly reported that he had disrespected a senior member of the Quorum--in this case, Boyd K. Packer.

My source informed that that they (the source) had heard directly that Oaks had to be talked out of resigning. Informed speculation on who may have convinced Oaks to stay on board rather than quit the Quorum suggests that then-First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley might have persuaded Oaks to remain seated. Indeed, it seems plausible that Hinckley--who had a well-known reputation and interest in positive media spin in behalf of the Mormon Church--might have concluded that having Oaks resign would have been a far worse public relations disaster than the PR problem created by the fact that Oaks had criticized his senior in the Quorum of the Twelve Packer.

Another well-informed source who knows Oaks personally told me that Oaks could well have offered his resignation but then decided, upon receipt of outside advice, to not abandon ship.

At the time of Oaks' reported offer of resignation from the Quorum of the Twelve Hinckley was, in fact and for all intents and purposes, running the Mormon Church--given that my grandfather and president of the Church Ezra Taft Benson was both mentally and physically incapacitated to the point where he was not able to administer the affairs of LDS Inc. (To be sure, Oaks had himself told me personally in private conversations that I had with him and fellow apostle Neal A. Maxwell in September 1993 that reports claiming ETB was at that point administering the affairs of the Church were not true, given my grandfather's failing health).

Oaks' reported offer to quit the Quorum came, it was said, in the midst of an attempted cover-up on his part designed to hide from public scrutiny the back-room details concerning the excommunication of Mormon intellectual Paul Toscano. Oaks' concerted effort to misrepresent the truth in that regard merely further exposes the intellectual and moral dishonesty of the LDS Church's highest leaders.

As history would have it, Toscano's outspoken support of independent thinking and his public willingness to defy Mormon authority ultimately led to Toscano's excommunication--followed by Oaks' effort to bury and lie about the details. Eventually, however, Oaks's cover was blown--at which point Oaks, according to my source, offered to resign from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

In a reversal of fortunes, efforts by Mormonism's highest leaders to discredit and discipline Toscano for his fiercely-individualistic views eventually led to the public disgracing of both Oaks and Packer--men who, behind the scenes, had sought to have Toscano muzzled and humiliated--and who spun public untruths about their efforts to do so.

Oaks' and Packer' plottings against Toscano were ultimately unmasked within the larger context of the Mormon Church's 1993 crackdown on dissidents (the so-called "September Six").

Oaks let loose with information about his participation in the efforts to club and then conceal the ecclesiastical mugging of Toscano in private conversations I had with Oaks and Maxwell, in Maxwell's downtown Salt Lake City Church office during September 1993.

In those conversations, Oaks confessed to the actual circumstances surrounding the excommunication of Toscano, then expected me to cover for him after he lied in public about what we had privately talked in this regard.

Yet, in an on-the-record interview with a newspaper reporter, Oaks blatantly misrepresented the truth about Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Toscano who, among other things, had caught the disapproving eye of Church apostles by suggesting that Church members need not perpetuate a Cult of Personality by standing up when General Authorities walked into the room.

Oaks privately owned up to me, however, that Packer had inappropriately injected himself into local Church action against Toscano--and, in the process, violated Church disciplinary procedures and opening the Church up to a possible lawsuit from Toscano.

Referring to Packer as the source of these headaches, a frustrated Oaks told me, "You can't stage manage a grizzly bear." When subsequently asked by the media about rumors that Packer had worked behind the scenes to get Toscano excommunicated, Oaks claimed ignorance and denied that Packer could ever do such a thing.

Had I remained silent in the face of these lies, I would have been an accessory to Oaks' falsifications. Oaks had demanded that I not talk about the conversations we had about the Toscano/Packer affair. Oaks had then prevaricated on the record about what we discussed. Finally, once the cat was out of the bag, Oaks had expected me to help cover his posterior by covering my mouth.

A question I posed to Oaks and Maxwell concerned reports that Packer had been behind the excommunication of Toscano.

To understand the context of the question, it is necessary to review events at the time, as reported in the press.

Packer's suspected entanglement in the excommunication of Toscano became a subject of extensive media coverage in the fall of 1993.

Toscano was excommunicated from the Mormon Church on September 19, 1993, "for writing and speaking publicly about church doctrine, feminism, the state of the faith's leadership and other issues."

At the stake high council disciplinary hearing that ultimately sealed his fate, attention was focused on a Sunstone symposium speech Toscano had recently delivered, entitled, "All Is Not Well in Zion: False Teachings of the True Church," in which Toscano was alleged to have made derogatory comments . . . about general authorities." ("LDS Apostle Denies Ordering Dissident's Excommunication," Associated Press, 11 October 1993, sec, D, p. 1ff; and "Six Intellectuals Disciplined for Apostasy," in "Sunstone" magazine, November 1993, p. 66).

With the Mormon Church having recently disciplined the infamous "September Six" for activities relating to scholarship and feminism, speculation was rampant that Packer had been "behind the Church's recent crackdown on dissidents."

That assessment proved to be well-founded.

Five months earlier, Packer had warned a gathering of LDS bureaucrats that some Mormons "influenced by social and political unrest are being caught up and led away" by "the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement, as well as the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals." ("Cartoonist Says Oaks Lied To Protect Fellow Apostle," Vern Anderson, by "Associated Press," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 12 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff; and Boyd K. Packer, "Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council," transcript, 18 May 1993, pp. 3, 4)

Packer, however, vehemently denied that he had been behind the banishment of Toscano.

Specifically, he insisted he had not directed Toscano's stake president, Kerry Heinz, to convene a disciplinary council against him.

While admitting to having met with Heinz to discuss Toscano, Packer assured the press, "We talked doctrine and philosophy. I absolutely did not instruct him to hold a disciplinary counsel and did not then, nor have I ever, directed any verdict. By Church policy, that is left entirely to local leaders. When he [Heinz] left, I did not know what he would do." ("Cracks in the Temple: Mormon Unity in Peril," Paul Brinkley-Rogers, in "The Arizona Republic," 10 October 1993, sec. A, p 1ff)

Packer further revealed to the Church-owned "Deseret News" that his decision to meet with Heinz had been made through a lower-ranking Church middleman.

Contrary to Oaks' claim to me in our September 24, 1993, private meeting that Packer had independently strayed outside approved channels of authority, Packer insisted that, in fact, he had been advised by "the Brethren" to meet with Toscano's stake president.

Said Packer, "Even though General Authorities of the Church are free to contact or respond to local leaders on any subject, I felt there may be some sensitivity about his request. The Brethren felt I could not very well decline to see a stake president. I therefore consented." ("Packer Says He Was Concerned by Request for Meeting, But Apostles Endorsed It," by "Associated Press," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 17 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff)

Toscano was not persuaded by Packer's explanations.

Reacting to Packer's admission of meeting with Heinz, Toscano said, "I knew all along that Boyd Packer was behind it. He's behind all this." ("Grandson of President Asks To Be Removed From LDS Church Rolls," Jennifer Skordas, "Salt Lake Tribune," 11 October 1993, sec. D, p. 1ff)

In my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, I specifically asked if Packer had, in fact, been involved behind the scenes in the excommunication process against Toscano.

Oaks confirmed that Packer had.

Oaks told me he was "distressed and astonished" over Packer's decision to meet with Heinz, even though he said Heinz was the one who had called Packer and asked "for the meeting." Oaks said it was "a mistake" on Packer's part to have agreed to meet with Heinz, the latter whom Oaks described as "an old seminary man." (Packer had come up with Heinz through the ranks of the Church education system).

Oaks told me that, by meeting with Heinz, Packer had gone outside the bounds of his assigned responsibility.

Oaks said one of his own areas of expertise was in legal affairs. Maxwell noted that one reason Oaks had been brought into the Quorum of the Twelve was to help rewrite the manual on Church disciplinary procedure.

Oaks expressed concern that Packer's involvement with Heinz might lead Toscano "to sue the Church" over violation of his ecclesiastical procedural rights.

In the end, Oaks, with a note of resignation in his voice, said of Packer, "You can't stage manage a grizzly bear."

On the heels of my meetings with Oaks and Maxwell, I then accompanied "Arizona Republic" reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers to Salt Lake City in early October 1993 to assist him in making contacts with LDS leaders, spokesmen, educators and critics for a story on the recent purge of notable Church dissidents.

On October 1st, Brinkley-Rogers met for a prearranged, on-the-record, taped Q and A session with Oaks in his Salt Lake City Church office to discuss, among other things, recent Church action against the dissenters.

I had not arranged the interview and did not join the reporter in it, as I did not think it would be appropriate for me to do so. Moreover, prior to the interview, I did not speak to Brinkley-Rogers about what Oaks and Maxwell had told me concerning the Packer/ Toscano matter in my meeting with them on September 24th.

At the conclusion of the interview, I picked Brinkley-Rogers up outside the Church Administration Building and asked how it went. He put the tape into the rental car cassette deck and pushed the "play" button. What I heard astounded--and angered--me.

Much of what Oaks had dished up for public consumption directly contradicted what he had told me in private.

I was immediately aware of the bind that Oaks had put me in. He had lied to a reporter about events which he had described to me in much different terms. I had no choice but to tell the reporter at that point that Oaks was attempting to pull a fast one on him.

So, there in a rental car in Salt Lake City, for the first time, I revealed what Oaks had shared with me in our September 24th meeting, pointing out the contradictions to what I had just heard on the tape. (see "Cracks in the Temple: Mormon Unity in Peril," Paul Brinkley-Rogers, "Arizona Republic," 11 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

During the next five days, I privately struggled with how to publicly deal with Oaks' blatant dishonesties. I was torn between remaining quiet (thereby preserving a confidentiality agreement) or setting the record straight (thereby exposing Oaks' act of calculated deception). I spoke at length with family, friends and colleagues--seeking advice and weighing my options.

I wish I could say it was an easy decision--that I saw the road brightly ahead of me from the moment I was confronted with Oaks' deceit--but that was not the case. I was troubled and, frankly, even a bit frightened by the possible consequences of speaking out. I did not relish the prospect of being accused of breaking a promise; at the same time, I could not stand by silently, given what I knew.

Most of all, I resented the fact that Oaks had put me in this position in the first place.

I finally decided to follow my gut--and my conscience. Oaks' misrepresentations--indeed, his out-and-out lies--prompted me to fax him a letter a few days after the interview. It read as follows:

"6 October 1993 Elder Dallin Oaks The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 47 East South Temple Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

"PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"I wish to share with you my concerns relative to our private conversation in the office of Elder Maxwell on September 24th, in relation to your subsequent comments to 'Arizona Republic' reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers on October 1st."

"In our September 24th meeting, I asked you if Kerry Heinz, Paul Toscano's stake president, had had any contact with, or received any instruction from, Elder Boyd K. Packer during the time leading up to Paul Toscano's excommunication. According to my notes taken during our discussion, you acknowledged that Elder Packer met with President Heinz prior to the rendering of judgment by the stake disciplinary council. You said that President Heinz was 'an old seminary man' and friend of Elder Packer during their days together in the church seminary system and that President Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Elder Packer."

"You told me that you were 'distressed and astonished' that Elder Packer met with President Heinz. Referring to Elder Packer, you observed that 'you can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' You opined that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting."

"You further acknowledged that you later talked directly to Elder Packer and told him that you felt it was wrong and violated church disciplinary procedure for Elder Packer to have been in contact with President Heinz. You said that Elder Packer had no authority or responsibility to participate in such contact and you told me that you strongly urged Elder Packer not to engage in such contact in the future. You added that you fully expected Paul Toscano 'to sue' the Church over this breach of procedural authority. "

"In contrast to what you told me in private, your public statements concerning the Toscano excommunication process and any participation of Elder Packer in it presented a far different picture. Mr. Brinkley-Rogers asked you: 'In the case of Toscano . . . do you have any evidence that Elder Packer [was] involved in any way in the decision-making process in the disciplining of [him]?"

"You responded: 'As for Elder Packer, Elder Packer does not have a specific responsibility for any area in the Church . . . So, if Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it is outside the normal channel. That's all I can say. I have no knowledge of whether he did. But if he, and if he gave a directed verdict or anything like that, that is contrary to policy, it is irregular and it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates. Elder Packer is not the least bit inclined to shrink from saying things like in the talk you saw [to the All-Church Coordinating Council, 18 May 1993]. He is a forthright, plain-spoken man, but Elder Packer is far too sophisticated and sensitive a man to call a stake president and tell him what he has to do in a Church discipline case. I just don't believe that. What's possible is that a stake president might think he had heard such a thing; nobody can dismiss that possibility . . . that kind of slippage happens in communication. But Elder Packer has no, Elder [Loren C.] Dunn has a natural communications link, though an outdated one; Elder Packer does not. So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"Frankly, I find the differences between what you told me and what you told the press to be irreconcilable and ethically troubling. First, by couching your answer to the question of Elder Packer's conversation with President Heinz in the hypothetical, you falsely imply, it seems to me, that you do not know whether he did talk with President Heinz. Second, contrary to what you told me, you explicitly said to the reporter that, in fact, you were not aware if any conversations took place between Elder Packer and President Heinz. Third, your assertion that for Elder Packer to have talked with President Heinz goes against your knowledge of Elder Packer's modus operandi is contradicted by your admission to me that you knew that Elder Packer had talked to him and that you later talked with Elder Packer about it. Fourth, your blanket denial of knowing anything beyond what you told the reporter is completely undermined, I feel, by what you told me."

"In other words, you have told the truth in private about the Packer-Heinz meeting, while denying the truth in public."

"When you asked that I keep our conversation confidential, I assumed that anything you might subsequently say for the record on the matter would be at least honest, if not complete. However, what you said in public varies significantly from the facts as you laid them out to me. It appears that you have asked me not to publicly divulge our conversation in your hope that my initial agreement to remain silent would keep the accuracy of your public utterances from being challenged."

"I have concluded that to remain silent is unacceptable. It would be a cowardly and dishonest act. It would be analogous to having an individual come to me and say, 'Just between us, I killed my wife,' then turn around and tell the press that the next-door neighbor did it. I would have the clear moral obligation to set the record straight, since refusal to act would do violence to the truth and make me an accessory to the crime."

"I will not be a party to a cover-up. Your request for confidentiality, I believe, has been superceded by the fact that you have lied in public, contrary to the facts as you know them, and that your hope of confidentiality rests on maintaining the deception. It has been observed that 'a lie is like a blanket of snow. It may cover unpleasantness for a time but, sooner or later, must melt, exposing that which was hidden."

"To participate in this fraud would only serve to erode trust and destroy relationships."

"I would hope that you would feel it right to publicly set the record straight. Mr. Brinkley-Rogers' phone number is 602-271-8137. If you choose not to do so within the next 24 hours, I will have no choice but to undertake that obligation myself."

"Sincerely,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

Hell hath no fury like a cover blown.

Oaks responded quickly, calling my home the same afternoon he received the fax, in an attempt to reach me. Our youngest daughter--six years old at the time--answered the phone, as my wife listened in on the other end.

"Is your father there?" asked Oaks, in a stern, angry voice.

"No," she replied meekly, "He's at work."

Oaks did not have my office phone number but he had the reporter's, since I had given it to him. (Oaks needed to do his explaining to the person he had lied to in the interview, not to me).

Oaks left a message with Brinkley-Rogers, who returned the call that evening, reaching Oaks at home through the Church switchboard operator (CSO).

Below is the full transcript of the ensuing conversation between Oaks (O) and Brinkley-Rogers (BR), taped by Brinkley-Rogers (which he later allowed me to audio-copy and which copy is currently in my possession). It is reported here with permission of Brinkley-Rogers.

CSO (choir music in the background): "LDS Church Offices."

BR: "Yes, good evening. Uh, this is Paul Brinkley-Rogers calling from Phoenix."

CSO: "Yes."

BR: "Concerning Dallin Oaks' call. He asked me to call the switchboard."

CSO: "Yes. Just a moment, please, while I"--

BR: "Thank you. Thanks a lot."

CSO: "Go ahead, please."

BR: "Thank you."

O: "Hello, Mr. Brinkley-Rogers."

BR: "Good evening, Mr. Oaks. How are you?"

O: "Thanks for calling back."

BR: "Well, thanks for calling me."

O: "Let me put the robe on and go in another room, where I can be comfortable."

BR: "OK, sure."

O: "Thank you for calling back."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "Somebody has called me a liar and I don't like to (inaudible) to that on a charge like that."

BR: "Oh, all right. How did that happen?"

O: "Uh, well, let me explain. I received a very disturbing letter from Steve Benson."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "He compares what I said to him in a confidential setting, relating to Church issues, with a transcript of the interview that I had with you"--

BR: "Yes."

O: --"and accused me of lying."

BR: "Hmm."

O: "And I'm a truthful man and I care for my integrity and, uh, and I, I take no, uh, no little, uh, concern for something like this."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "Before I talk with you about it, let me ask you a question"--

BR: "Sure."

O: --"so you'll understand why I need to ask that before I speak about this."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "What I would like to know is the relationship between you and Steve Benson in this matter. Specifically, was Steve on a reconnaissance for you when he asked about two weeks ago for a Church interview and came into an interview, in an ecclesiastical setting, which is the occasion of this comparison?"

BR: "No, I, I had no idea that he even did that."

O: "I didn't think so."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "Uh, let me ask a follow-up question."

BR: "Sure."

O: "Uh, is, are you involved in any kind of an effort that Steve is now making to extort information from me--and I use the word 'extort,' uh"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"advisedly."

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"to extort information from me in behalf of you?"

BR: "No. I'm not aware of any such thing."

O: "Now, he had, the reason I had to ask that is that he had the manuscript that was our interview."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "And he was comparing that with notes he'd made earlier when he had a conversation"--

BR: "Oh, I see. No, I played the tape for Steve of, uh, our interview, you know, after the interview and I noticed that he looked sort of surprised by it."

O: "OK, well, then, I, I take that at face value."

BR: "All right."

O: "And, and you, what I'm going to tell you why, I, uh, oh, why I was aroused by this."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "Now, I assume, as I told you at the time, that you're a professional journalist"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I assume, I take The Arizona Republic at, at face value. Uh, uh, it seems to me like it's been very professional and, and I deal with you in that light."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "And I assume that neither you nor The Republic want to be used in Steve's grievances against, and controversies with, his Church"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"that are rather considerable, uh, uh, controversy with his Church."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "I was trying to do, to deal with that in having a confidential interview with him."

BR: "OK."

O: "And now he, he has drawn in this letter to me, he's drawn these two things together"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "And I'd rather deal with you separately"--

BR: "You mean this conversation with you, uh, compared"--

O: "His conversation with me"--

BR: --"compared with the tape?"

O: "Compared with the tape, and that's, uh, what I'd like to do, is deal separately with you."

BR: "OK."

O: "And I assume that you don't want to get involved with Steve's controversies with his Church."

BR: "No."

O: "I assume that that's part of your professional approach to this and if I, if I can deal separately with you, independent of Steve Benson"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"then it's, then it's much easier for me to (inaudible) my problems."

BR: "All right, so let's go ahead on that basis."

O: "OK, good. Now, when (cough) I received this letter from Steve, which was, uh, a very accusatory letter"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and, uh, I presume that you don't know about its contents"--

BR: "Right."

O: "But when I received this letter, which I did this afternoon about 5 o'clock"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"I got the transcript out and reviewed it very carefully, the transcript of my interview with you."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "When I did that, I saw one sentence in my interview with you--and only one sentence--that I would say overstated the truth."

BR: "OK."

O: "And that sentence I want to correct."

BR: "All right, sir. Fine."

O: "And I am sorry for it, but in a, in a, our, our interview was 60 minutes long and, you know, I was shooting from the hip (inaudible) along"--

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"and it was one of those things, which called to my attention, is inaccurate and I want to correct it."

BR: "All right."

O: "The, the, the only thing I can see that I want to correct."

BR: "OK, sir."

O: "And this is a, is a, uh, oh, about one-fourth of the circumstances that, uh, that, uh, Steve cites in his letter, because I looked, uh, I looked at the others and, and, uh, I think that, uh, I, I don't, uh, feel any necessity under my commitment to integrity to make any change in what I said."

BR: "OK."

O: "But in this one instance, I do."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "The sentence is, is toward the end of the interview."

BR: "Yeah."

O: "It is the, the last paragraph of the interview."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I'm looking at the transcript that was made from the recording when made here."

BR: "Yup."

O: "It's, uh, it's in this talk about the Kerry Heinz matter"--

BR: "All right."

O: "And the sentence is this, about having a conversation: 'So, if Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"'it is outside the normal channel'"--

BR: "Yeah."

O: --"'that's all I can say. I have not'–"my transcript says that. It must be 'no'"–'I have no knowledge of whether he did.'"

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "That's the sentence that should be stricken."

BR: "OK."

O: "If you'd just strike out, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"then I'll stand by the transcript of things that I said to you, but that statement, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did'"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"was, uh, as I looked back on the transcript, I think that's inaccurate and I want to withdraw that."

BR: "All right. Now, um, I guess my question is, do, do you have knowledge that he did that, in that case?"

O: "Now"--

BR: "Is that what we're getting to here?"

O: "Let me just, uh, let me just say this"--

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "Uh (clears throat), when I met with Steve Benson"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"Uh, I was trying to help Steve Benson in a matter, a Church matter, that does not concern the subject of our interview."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "In the course of doing that, I spoke to him confidentially and in a privileged relationship"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and, uh, I think his letter and the things he says in his letter, abuse that privileged relationship, uh, in a really, uh, well, I'll stop there."

BR: "OK."

O: "And, and I, uh, [Steve] also says some things in his letter which he may share with you, I don't know"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "But he, he claims to have notes of things that I've said in the, in the conversation with him"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "I don't affirm his notes."

BR: "OK."

O: "If he shows you a copy of his letter"--

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: --"I certainly don't affirm his notes"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and I'm not either admitting or denying things that I, I was speaking there in a privileged relationship and I don't think that it's fair for Steve, uh, nor is it fair for me"--

BR: "Yup."

O: --"to go into a privileged relationship"--

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: --"and for me to affirm or deny his notes, so I, I simply stand silent on what he claims took place"--

BR: "Right."

O: --"in a privileged conversation and, as a journalist, you'd understand the privilege."

BR: "Uh-huh."

O: "I think his notes are quite self-serving, but that's, that's simply my, my perspective."

BR: "OK."

O: "But what I am saying is that I just don't choose to go, uh, I don't choose to be–what's the word I'm looking for?–leveraged"--

BR: "Hmm."

O: --"into saying anything more than I said to you in the interview by Steve Benson's use of privileged information."

BR: "Hmm-mm."

O: "So, to answer your question, I'd say that I just don't choose to affirm or deny."

BR: "OK."

O: "But I do wish to withdraw a sentence which, as I read it on the transcript, is inaccurate."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "So, I, if you will do me the favor of striking out that, you do whatever you want with what remains."

BR: "All right, sir."

O: "And I'm glad to defend whatever remains, but I cannot defend that sentence."

BR: "All right. Well, it's clear to me."

O: "All right. And I appreciate that and I appreciate the opportunity of being able to speak to you as a, on a professional basis and I, I must tell you that I make this phone call because it distresses me when somebody claims that I lie."

BR: "All right. Well, all right."

O: "Because I don't do that."

BR: "OK, sir."

O: "Well, I appreciate the opportunity to visit with you and thank you for calling."

BR: "Thanks for calling me."

O: "OK."

BR: "Bye-bye."

O: "Bye-bye."

I was not immediately informed by the reporter of the details of the above conversation, being initially told only that Oaks had called to clarify the record. Assuming (as it turned out, naively) that Oaks had come completely clean, I faxed him a letter the next day, which read:

"7 October 1993 Elder Dallin Oaks The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 47 East South Temple Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

"PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL: SECOND TRANSMISSION"

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"I want to personally thank you for calling the 'Arizona Republic' reporter, Mr. Brinkley-Rogers, to clarify your earlier statements.

"May I emphasize that I came to you with no hidden agenda. My sincerity of motive, I believe, was evidenced by the fact that, given the problem I faced with reconciling your public and private comments, an opportunity was provided for you to set the record straight.

"Again, thank you.

"Regards,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

I had spoken too soon.

When Brinkley-Rogers permitted me to listen to the full tape of the phone conversation between himself and Oaks, I realized I had been duped. Oaks had not come close to coming clean, as I had hoped and expected he would. His apology was cagey, hesitant, defensive and limited. He had lied by omission and commission, but somehow had talked himself into believing he had done the right thing. Moreover, Oaks' subsequent statements to the press in ensuing days were far from forthright.

I was not about to sit by and let him get away with it.

I went to the press, laid out the entire story and submitted my letter of resignation from the Mormon Church.

In the meantime, Oaks was dribbling out half-hearted confessions. Five days after the phone conversation with the "Arizona Republic" reporter, Oaks publicly admitted that he had not been truthful about his knowledge of Packer's involvement in the Toscano episode.

In an "Associated Press" wire-story appearing October 12th in "The Salt Lake Tribune," veteran Utah reporter Vern Anderson wrote:

"Elder Oaks admitted late Monday he 'could not defend the truthfulness of one of the statements' about Packer, who is considered by many to be behind the Church's recent crackdown on dissidents . . .

"Oaks told 'Arizona Republic' reporter Paul Brinkley-Rogers on Oct. 1 that he had 'no knowledge' of whether Packer had met with Kerry Heinz, the local ecclesiastical leader for Salt lake lawyer Paul Toscano, before Heinz excommunicated Toscano on Sept. 19. Toscano was cited by Heinz, his stake president, for criticizing church leaders and acting contrary to the role and order of the Church.

"However, in a 'personal and confidential' letter to Oaks on Oct. 6, Benson reminded the apostle that in a private meeting Sept. 24, Oaks had told Benson he was 'distressed and astonished' that Packer had met with Heinz.

"He quoted Oaks as saying of Packer, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear,' and added that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"Benson also wrote that Oaks 'further acknowledged that you later talked directly to Elder Packer and told him that you felt it was wrong and violated Church disciplinary procedure for Elder Packer to have been in contact with President Heinz.'

"Benson said he was making his letter to Oaks public because he was fed up with Church leaders shading the truth. Last summer, he criticized the faith's hierarchy for claiming his 94-year-old grandfather was still involved in important church decisions.

"In an interview Monday evening, Oaks declined to confirm or deny most of Benson's assertions about a pair of private interviews the church prophet's grandson had in September with Oaks and Elder Neal Maxwell, another member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a body that advises the Church's presidency.

"However, Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, acknowledged that his single statement to reporter Brinkley-Rogers about having no knowledge of the Packer-Heinz meeting was one 'I could not defend. It was not a truthful statement.'

"Benson's letter to Oaks had warned the apostle that unless he set the record straight, Benson would feel under no obligation to honor the promise of confidentiality he had earlier given Oaks and Maxwell.

"Oaks called the 'Republic's' reporter that night and retracted the 'I have no knowledge of whether he [Packer] did' statement. The Republic's story, minus the statement, appeared Sunday. It quoted Packer as admitting he had met with Heinz about Toscano's case, but he denied having pressured the stake president to excommunicate Toscano.

"Oaks did not retract other statements in the interview with Brinkley-Rogers that Benson had alleged--and Oaks denies--were false or deliberately misleading. Nevertheless, Benson faxed Oaks another letter Oct. 7 thanking him for having called Brinkley-Rogers to 'clarify your earlier statements.'

"Oaks said he had assumed by Benson's second letter that he was satisfied. He stressed that Benson at least three times had assured him and Maxwell that their meetings--initiated by a kindly letter to Benson from Maxwell–were confidential and would never be publicly discussed.

"'I think that Steve Benson is just going to have to carry the responsibility for whatever he relates about a confidential meeting,' Oaks said.

"Benson said he felt acutely the moral dilemma of having promised confidentiality, but then having seen deliberate efforts to mislead the public about Packer's role in the Toscano affair. 'I had to decide to be a party to the cover-up or be faithful to my own convictions,' Benson said. 'I had to let Elder Oaks walk a plank of his own making.'

"Toscano, who is appealing his excommunication, said he loves the Church, but doesn't confuse it with 'individual leaders who are kind of running amok in a vacuum.'

"He said that if Ezra Taft Benson were capable of managing the Church today, his eldest grandson's plea would not have gone unheeded." ("Cartoonist Says Oaks Lied To Protect Fellow Apostle," Vern Anderson, Associated Press, in Salt Lake Tribune, 12 October 1993, sec. B, p. 1ff)

By now the fireworks were lighting up the Temple Square skyline. Rather than agitate Oaks even more, however, I tried a softer, more conciliatory approach--even as I again chided him for refusing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God.

In "an open letter" dated October 15, 1993, I wrote:

"Dear Elder Oaks:

"Given the events of recent days, I feel it important to communicate to you the reasons why I believed it necessary to speak openly about our conversations concerning the Packer-Heinz-Toscano affair.

"I understand your displeasure with the fact than an agreement of confidentiality was abrogated. I also understand your reasons for being upset that I went public after having expressed appreciation for your calling the press in an effort to clarify your earlier statements.

"Yet, even in your subsequent revision, you did not correct what I believe to have been other deliberate misrepresentations. I could not, therefore, in good conscience, let them remain unchallenged, when both you and I knew better. You were provided with an opportunity to set the record straight completely. You chose only to correct one of the three falsehoods. I do not consider myself responsible for your decisions not to be fully honest.

"As I noted in earlier correspondence, I feel you lost the benefit of confidentiality when you knowingly dissembled in public about what you told me in private. In so doing, I feel you violated the trust and faith between not only you and me, but between the Church leadership and the members at large. I therefore felt it my moral obligation to break the silence that otherwise would have served only to perpetuate falsehood and false faith.

"I have done so because I see so many people in the Church hurting under the crushing heel of ecclesiastical abuse. It is time to lift the heel and start to heal.

"The scriptures tell of another apostle--a man of God and servant of the Master who, because of weakness and pressure--also lied three times. Yet, he admitted his mistakes, repented of them and became not only one of the Lord's mightiest witnesses, but an example to the rest of us imperfect souls of what It means to be honest and true in Christ.

"You now have the opportunity to shine your light in the darkness and warm us all through your spiritual courage. Please use the purity of your spirit, intellect and testimony to help us heal together.

"Sincerely,

[Signed]

"Steve Benson"

I didn't hear back from Oaks, except when I read what he was now saying to the press.

Oaks next went to the Church-owned Deseret News to air his grievances. On October 16, 1993, the following article appeared:

"Sitting in his office in the LDS Church administration building, Elder Dallin H. Oaks carefully reads a news report that says he admitted to 'falsely telling' a journalist he had no knowledge of an event involving the excommunication of a church member.

"'Life isn't fair,' Elder Oaks said. 'Somebody said that time heals all wounds. But it's also true that time wounds all heels.' he added in jest.

"But in a serious tone, Elder Oaks, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Council of the Twelve, said he feels 'wounded' by an Associated Press story that he said dwelled on his admission that he made a statement he couldn't defend, and downplayed his efforts to promptly correct his unintentional error.

"'It impugned my integrity and seriously distorted the account of the facts as it was presented,' Oaks said in an interview this week.

"The apostle said he didn't willfully mislead a news reporter. He explained that he had misspoken during an hour-long interview and when he was notified of that he called the reporter to retract a 'statement I could not defend.'

"The story was published four days later in the Arizona Republic newspaper, without the statement.

"Meanwhile, in Phoenix, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Steve Benson expressed frustration over what he sees as high-ranking church officials twisting the truth and deceiving members.

"'I'm tired of playing this little game,' he said in a phone interview from his office at "The Arizona Republic." 'The Church needs to respect its members . . . It wants to muzzle its members.'

"Benson, a sixth-generation Mormon and grandson of Church President Ezra Taft Benson, wants no longer to be a 'muzzled' member. On Sunday he announced he had requested his name be removed from the rolls of the Mormon Church. The next day, he disclosed to the 'Associated Press' details of confidential conversations and correspondence between him and Elder Oaks.

"The subsequent news story published locally in Tuesday's 'Salt Lake Tribune' was the latest episode in a saga surrounding recent disciplinary action taken against six prominent Mormon scholars and feminists. Five of them--one who was disfellowshipped and four who were excommunicated--said they were disciplined for apostasy and are victims of an orchestrated purge.

"Earlier this month, Elder Oaks spoke with an 'Arizona Republic' reporter about the recent string of disciplinary councils. During the interview, they discussed whether Elder Boyd K. Packer, also a member of the Council of the Twelve, talked with local stake president Kerry Heinz, who later presided over a disciplinary council that excommunicated church critic Paul Toscano.

"In the interview, Elder Oaks said he had no knowledge of whether Elder Packer met with the stake president. According to 'The Arizona Republic' story, Elder Oaks also said that if Elder Packer told the stake president what action to take against a church member, it would violate church policy and 'be contrary to what I know about Elder Packer and the way he operates.'

"Benson claimed that Elder Oaks told him a different story during their confidential discussions held two weeks earlier. Benson would not say why he had a private talk with Elder Oaks. But he said that during their talk Elder Oaks disclosed that Elder Packer and Heinz were old friends who did get together at Heinz's request and that such a meeting was a mistake.

"Benson added that Elder Oaks referred to Elder Packer when saying, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.'

"Oaks declined to discuss what Benson said took place in their private discussion. 'Even though I could defend myself by affirming or denying those things, I don't feel free' to do that without violating a pledge of confidentiality, he said.

"The dispute over what Elder Packer said in a meeting with Heinz has attracted news media attention because some of those disciplined and their supporters had claimed Elder Packer was personally conducting a crackdown on church dissidents.

"In a statement issued Friday, Elder Packer said, 'In late June, President Kerry Heinz asked his regional representative if he could arrange an appointment with me. We had served together in the seminary program 35 years ago.'

"'Even though general authorities of the Church are free to contact or respond to local leaders on any subject, I felt there may be some sensitivity about this request,' Elder Packer said. 'I, therefore, in a meeting of the Council of the Twelve Apostles raised the question of whether I should see him. The Brethren felt I could not very well decline to see a stake president.

"'I therefore consented but asked President Heinz if he would feel all right about his file leader, President Loren Dunn, being present. He readily agreed,' Elder Packer said. The meeting was held Sunday, July 11, 1993.

"'We talked doctrine and philosophy,' Elder Packer said. 'I absolutely did not instruct him to hold a disciplinary council and did not then, nor have I ever, directed any verdict. By Church policy that is left entirely to local leaders. When he left, I did not know what he would do.'

"In his interview with the Deseret News, Benson said what Elder Oaks told him didn't square with what was said to the reporter. So he transmitted a confidential letter to Elder Oaks pointing that out. Benson said he also warned that if the apostle did not 'set the record straight' he would no longer feel obligated to keep their discussion confidential.

"After receiving the letter, Elder Oaks said, he reviewed the transcript of his interview with the reporter and found he couldn't defend his comment about having no knowledge of Packer meeting with Heinz.

"'How do you make a statement like that? I can't give any better explanation than the fact that I was talking a mile a minute and I just said something that on mature reflection I (concluded), "I can't defend the truthfulness of that,"' Elder Oaks said. But he let his other statements stand 'because I could defend those,' he said.

"While Elder Oaks said he was glad to correct his misstatement, he didn't like Benson's methods. 'He has taken a confidential meeting where he had repeatedly assured me that he would never speak of subjects we were discussing . . . and now he has written me a letter using that confidential meeting to pressure me. And I deeply resent that.'

"Benson said he had no hidden agenda to corner a Church authority. He said he wrote Elder Oaks before the story ran, thanking him for retracting a statement and explaining his intention was to give Elder Oaks a chance to set the record straight.

"But after later learning that Elder Oaks left intact the other comments that troubled Benson, Benson said he followed through on his threat to go public.

"In a follow-up letter transmitted Friday to Elder Oaks explaining why he decided to speak openly about their confidential conversations, Benson said, 'I feel you violated the trust and faith between not only you and me, but between the Church leadership and the members at large. I therefore felt it my moral obligation to break the silence that otherwise would have served only to perpetuate falsehood and false faith.'" ("Elder Oaks Says News Story 'Seriously Distorted' Facts, LDS Apostle Calls His Error Unintentional. (Cartoonist Says Church Twists Truth," Matthew S. Brown, "The Deseret News," 16 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

Oaks next turned to the "Salt Lake Tribune," to further defend his honor. In a highly unusual commentary written for that newspaper, published on October 21, 1993, he declared:

"On October 12, 16, and 17, the 'Salt Lake Tribune' gave prominent and extensive coverage to wire-service stories on cartoonist Steve Benson's charges that I 'lied' to an 'Arizona Republic' reporter in an interview on current controversies over church discipline. I have no desire to prolong this controversy, but feel it necessary to set the record straight on some important matters omitted or obscured in this attack upon my integrity.

"My dictionary defines lying as being 'deliberately untruthful' and a 'lie' as 'a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive.' I did not 'lie' to the reporter and, contrary to the wire-service story printed in the October 16 'Tribune,' I did not 'admit' to 'falsely telling' the reporter something that was untrue.

"I withdrew one sentence I had spoken in a long interview, and I did so three days before the article was published because I realized when I saw the written transcript, that this single sentence was not 'truthful'(meaning 'accurate' or 'correct'). When a newspaper publishes something that it later realizes to have been incorrect, does it apologize to its readers for 'lying' or does it just print a correction? My statement to the reporter was corrected before it was published.

"The sequence and timing of various events is important.

"On Sept. 9 Elder Neal A. Maxwell and I met with Steve and Mary Ann Benson for about two and one-half hours to discuss their questions. Because he was a newspaperman, we sought and he gave solemn assurances that our discussions would be confidential. We continue to honor that confidence.

"On Sept. 10, Steve Benson wrote us a letter expressing gratitude for 'being able to talk freely in an atmosphere of trust,' reaffirming his commitment to 'honor completely the confidentiality of our conversation, in not speaking, or even alluding to, for the record anything said by either of you,' and asking for another meeting to deal with 'some follow-up questions.'

"On Sept. 24, we met again with Steve Benson for about an hour and a half.

"On Oct. 1, a reporter for the 'Arizona Republic' interviewed me for about an hour on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to current controversies over church discipline. Though Steve Benson works for this paper, he did not arrange this interview and was not included in it.

"At about 4:30 p.m. on October 6, I received a 'personal and confidential' letter from Steve Benson. Relying on his personal notes of our confidential conversations, he charged that I had 'lied in public' in my interview with the reporter and stated that unless I 'publicly set the record straight' by calling the reporter within 24 hours, he would do so himself.

"I immediately studied the lengthy transcript of the Oct. 1 interview (16 pages single-spaced), received the previous day. I was distressed to find one statement to the reporter I could see was not accurate ('I have no knowledge of whether he did'). I am sure I did not speak that sentence with intent to deceive, but whether it was an inadvertence or a result of forgetfulness in the context of a long and far-reaching interview, I cannot be sure. But the important thing was that I could recognize that this sentence was not correct. (Three other statements challenged by Steve Benson required no correction.)

"That same evening (Oct. 1) I reached the reporter, advised him of the circumstances, and asked to withdraw the single sentence. He agreed.

"On Oct. 7, I received another 'personal and confidential' letter from Steve Benson thanking me for calling the reporter 'to clarify your earlier statements.' His letter did not even hint that he thought further clarifications were necessary.

"'The Arizona Republic' article appeared on Oct. 10. It made no mention of the sentence I had withdrawn. There was also a separate story about Steve Benson and his wife seeking to have their names removed from the records of the Church.

"On Oct. 11, Steve Benson sent a copy of his 'personal and confidential' letters of Oct. 6 and 7 to the 'Associated Press' in Salt Lake City. He also gave TV and radio interviews on this subject.

"In summary, when I found that I could not defend the correctness of one brief sentence in a long interview, I immediately contacted the reporter and withdrew that sentence, doing so more than three days before the story was scheduled for publication. When the publication honored that correction and made no comment on it, Steve Benson accused me of lying in public and participating in a cover-up, and the wire-service coverage of this episode has inaccurately portrayed me as deliberately making false statements in public.

"My perception of this matter is simple. I have been the victim of double-decker deceit: 1. betrayal of promises of confidentiality, and 2. false accusation of lying.

"My heart goes out to all who have suffered from this painful sequence of events." ("Oaks: 'I've Been A Victim of Double-Decker Deceit," Dallin Oaks, Salt Lake Tribune, 21 October 1993, sec. A, p. 19)

Faced with Oaks' full-court press aimed at damage control, I determined it was time to push back. Four days after Oaks' article appeared in the 'Salt Lake Tribune,' my own commentary followed in the same newspaper, giving a somewhat different perspective on events:

"Mormons are admonished to be honest. Unfortunately, Apostle Dallin Oaks chooses to deny important truths relating to Elder Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano.

"On Sept. 9 I met with Elders Oaks and Maxwell. In a Sept. 10 letter, I promised them I would not speak on the record about the contents of that meeting. I have kept that pledge.

"On Sept. 24, we met again and confidentially discussed the Toscano excommunication. Confidentiality agreements are valid only when the parties involved remind truthful, whether publicly or privately. Oaks broke that ground rule, thereby releasing me from any obligation of silence in the Toscano cover up. All else on that date has remained confidential.

"In that meeting, I asked Oaks if Kerry Heinz, Toscano's stake president, had any contact with Boyd K. Packer prior to Toscano's excommunication.

"According to my notes taken during the meeting, Oaks admitted that Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Packer. Oaks said he was 'distressed and astonished' that Packer agreed to the meeting. Referring to Packer, he said, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' He said that 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"(One wonders why the conflict between Oaks' surprise over the Packer-Heinz meeting and Packer's public statement that the Twelve authorized that meeting.)

"Oaks said he later talked with Packer and told him he felt Packer had violated procedure by meeting with Heinz, noting that Packer had no authority or responsibility in this area. He said he strongly urged Packer to avoid future such meetings, adding the he expected Toscano 'to sue the church.'

"On Oct. 1 an 'Arizona Republic' reporter asked Oaks if Packer was 'involved in any way' in the disciplining of Toscano.

"Oaks replied: '. . . If Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it s outside the normal channel . . . I have no knowledge of whether he did. But if he did, and if he gave a directed verdict . . . that is contrary to policy . . . and it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates . . . So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"Oaks' answer contained several clear-cut falsehoods which point to a larger pattern of deception.

"First, by couching the Packer-Heinz meeting hypothetically, he falsely implied personal ignorance of whether it occurred. Oaks left this on the record.

"Second, Oaks said he had no knowledge that Packer met with Heinz.

"Commendably, Oaks later retracted this statement.

"Third, Oaks claimed that if Packer met with Heinz, it ran contrary to Oaks' knowledge of how Packer operated. Oaks left this on the record.

"Finally, Oaks claimed he knew nothing more. He left this falsehood on the record.

"Upon hearing Oaks' attempted cover for Packer, I was dismayed and faxed Oaks a letter on Oct. 6, detailing what he told me on Sept. 24, juxtaposed against what he told the reporter on Oct. 1. I highlighted his false on-the-record statements, so that there could be no misunderstanding.

"I informed him that our confidentiality agreement was void and offered him 24 hours to set the record straight, advising him that if he did not, I would.

"It is critical to understand that Oaks did not initiate any corrections for the record. Only after receiving my Oct. 6 letter did he contact the reporter to issue a limited retraction.

"Initially, I was pleased to hear from the reporter that Oaks had corrected himself. On Oct. 7, I faxed him a second letter, thanking him for taking the opportunity to clarify his earlier statements.

"That thank-you note proved to be premature, because I was unaware at the time I wrote it that Oaks had not retracted all his falsehoods. Upon discovering that he had left most of them intact, I concluded he had been provided ample opportunity to set the record straight and had not.

"When Oaks chose to publicly dissemble, he violated my trust and that of the church at large. May his heart go out, not only in love, but in reconciliation, to those who have suffered from this abuse of ecclesiastical power."

("Benson Replies, Charges Oaks With Dissembling," in "Salt Lake Tribune," 25 October 1993, sec. A, p. 5)

Oaks also took his "Battle of Wounded Me" to the Brigham Young University campus, where attention focused on keeping the hearts and minds of the rising generation in line.

The same day his defensive commentary ran in "The Salt Lake Tribune," it also appeared up in the Church-owned campus newspaper, "The Daily Universe." ("News reports distorted facts, Elder Oaks Says," Dallin Oaks, the Daily Universe, 25 October 1993, p. 3)

In the interest of equal time, I contacted the "Universe" and requested that my response to Oaks (the one also originally printed in "The Salt Lake Tribune") also be published in the BYU student newspaper.

I was told by a "Universe" faculty adviser that Oaks' version of events had been published in the "Universe" at the direct request of the First Presidency.

He further informed me that the school paper was already having problems "up the road" with the Church. He said that if the "Universe" printed my reply, "the General Authorities might shut us down."

It was becoming clear that if Church members were going to get the truth on this messy affair, they couldn't depend on the Church for help.

I turned to an off-campus, supposedly independent student publication, "Student Review," and spoke with its student editor, requesting that he publish a letter to the editor from me about the controversy. The editor replied that if the "Review" published my piece, it would be perceived as being a critic of the Church and "lose advertisers."

Still holding out hope, however, I faxed a cover letter, along with the letter to the editor, to "Student Review," wishing for a change of heart. The cover letter read:

"October 29, 1993 TO: Brian Waterman FROM: Steve Benson RE: publishing the attached letter in Student Review

"Dear Brian:

"Thanks for the opportunity to talk with you yesterday. I appreciated your explanation of the current situation with 'Student Review.' I sincerely hope that arrangements can be made to publish my letter in your paper.

"It would be unfortunate if the letter is killed for fear that your publication would somehow be considered 'anti-church' or that it would be bad for business. Truth is ultimately our best defense and the best way of doing business. Shying away from forthrightly informing readers on matters of public importance only guarantees that wrongs will be perpetrated and, in the long run, serves only to hurt the church.

"I would not object to having Elder Oaks' version of the events printed alongside my letter. In fact, that format might provide the best opportunity for readers to determine for themselves the facts of the case.

"Thanks for your consideration.

"Sincerely,

[signed]

"Steve Benson"

The accompanying letter to the editor read, in part, as follows:

"On October 25, the 'Daily Universe,' reportedly acting on a request from the office of the First Presidency, published an article by Elder Dallin Oaks, claiming recent news reports had falsely accused him of lying about Elder Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Paul Toscano and alleging that I had broken a confidence in making that charge.

"In the interest of fairness and accuracy, I requested that 'The Universe' provide me an opportunity to reply. That request was denied.

"The reason given by Universe staff was that opinions contrary to that of Elder Oaks would not see print, because of expected opposition from Salt Lake. Fear was expressed that if the 'Universe' published contrary to the wishes of the Brethren, it might be shut down.

"Given these unfortunate circumstances, I approached 'Student Review,' hoping that fuller access to the facts would allow readers to make informed and intelligent judgments.

"Those facts are as follows [the letter then covered ground already noted above, with these additional observations]:

"On Oct. 1, Elder Oaks gave a carefully-worded, tape-recorded interview to 'The Arizona Republic,' where he was asked if Elder Packer was 'involved in any way' in the disciplining of Paul Toscano.

"Elder Oaks now admits that one of his answers to the reporter was untrue but blames it on 'inadvertence' or 'forgetfulness.' He insists that other challenged statements he made 'required no correction.'

"These explanations are simply not persuasive. Four of his on-the-record answers are quoted below, paired with contrary facts he provided me in the Sept. 24 meeting, during which I took notes. Examined together, they point to a deliberate pattern of deception.

"First, by framing his answer in the hypothetical, Elder Oaks falsely implied that he did not know whether Elder Packer had talked with Paul Toscano's stake president, Kerry Heinz. He told the reporter, 'If Elder Packer is having any conversation with Kerry Heinz, it is outside the normal channel.'

"In truth, Elder Oaks acknowledged to me that they had met, saying President Heinz 'called and asked for a meeting' with Elder Packer.

"Second, Elder Oaks falsely claimed ignorance of whether Elder Packer conversed with President Heinz. He told the reporter, 'I have no knowledge of whether he did.'

"In reality, Elder Oaks did know the discussion took place--as evidenced by the fact that he later retracted this statement.

"Third, Elder Oaks misleadingly insisted that for Elder Packer to have had contact with President Heinz ran counter to Elder Oaks' personal knowledge of both Elder Packer and his approach. He told the reporter, 'If he did . . . it's contrary to what I know of Elder Packer and the way he operates.'

"In actuality, Elder Oaks knew how Elder Packer operated and did not like what he saw. Speaking of Elder Packer, he told me, 'You can't stage manage a grizzly bear.' He said he was 'distressed and astonished' that Elder Packer met with President Heinz, noting 'it was a mistake for Packer to meet with Heinz and a mistake for Heinz to ask for the meeting.'

"(Elder Oaks may want to explain the contradiction between his claim of being surprised by the Packer-Heinz meeting and Elder Packer's claim that the Twelve gave prior approval for that meeting).

"Elder Oaks also told me he later spoke directly with Elder Packer, advising him that Elder Packer's meeting with President Heinz violated disciplinary procedure and that Elder Packer had no authority or responsibility in this area. He said he strongly urged Elder Packer to avoid such meetings in the future and admitted he expected Paul Toscano 'to sue the church' (This also contradicts Elder Packer's claim of prior approval).

"Fourth, Elder Oaks summarized his knowledge of the Packer-Heinz-Toscano case by once again falsely pleading ignorance. He told the reporter, 'So, that's all I know about that at this point.'

"As he admitted earlier to me, he clearly knew more . . .

"In conclusion, while Elder Oaks portrays himself as an innocent victim in this regrettable affair, he has (1) admitted privately the facts concerning the Packer-Heinz-Toscano case, (2) falsified publicly about those facts, (3) retracted one of his untrue statements under threat of exposure and (4) refused to disclaim other statements of his that are demonstrably untrue.

"This dispute has been a painful one. It could, and should have been avoided if Elder Oaks had originally told the truth . . .

"Steve Benson"

The letter was not published.

Finally, I turned to Provo's community newspaper, "The Daily Herald," hoping for a sympathetic ear. To the credit of its editor (who happened to be Catholic), the paper published the letter to the editor that "Student Review" would not touch, along with the following "Editor's note":

"News stories earlier this month dealt with the resignation from the LDS Church of 'Arizona Republic' political cartoonist Steve Benson. Benson is a grandson of LDS Church President Ezra Taft Benson.

"Following Benson's resignation from the LDS Church, he made charges that LDS Apostle Dallin H. Oaks was less than truthful in some statements made concerning Apostle Boyd K. Packer's involvement in the excommunication of Mormon dissenter Paul Toscano. There were several 'Associated Press' wire stories detailing Benson's allegations and responses from Oaks.

"On Saturday, the 'Daily Herald' printed, on the front page, the complete text of a letter from Oaks explaining his position and actions on the matters. On Sunday, Benson called this paper's managing editor at his home and requested the opportunity to respond to Oaks' letter. Benson's response follows."

("Benson responds to Oaks' letter," in "The Daily Herald," 26 October 1993, sec. A, p. 1ff)

The above has been a detailed and extensive account of events involving the Toscano-Packer-Heinz-Oaks affair. If only Oaks had told the truth, it would have been a lot shorter.

Now I learn that Oaks was reportedly willing to make his career as an apostle for the LDS Inc. a lot shorter, had he followed through on his offer and resigned over his dissing of his Quorum of the Twelve superior and fellow myth-spinner Packer.
topic image
The Holy Ghost Is Like A Burning In The Bosom - But Not According To Oaks
Monday, Feb 2, 2009, at 08:08 AM
Original Author(s): Measure
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
As I was reading through the Gospel Doctrine manual, lesson 6, I ran across this quote from Dallin Oaks. I can tell, it's going to be a lot of fun when I write up my review of this lesson next week.
“I have met persons who told me they have never had a witness from the Holy Ghost because they have never felt their bosom ‘burn within’ them. What does a ‘burning in the bosom’ mean? Does it need to be a feeling of caloric heat, like the burning produced by combustion? If that is the meaning, I have never had a burning in the bosom. Surely, the word ‘burning’ in this scripture signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity” (Ensign,Mar. 1997, 13)
So we have some apostles and prophets on record as saying the holy ghost causes a burning in the bosom, but Oaks on record saying it does no such thing! Incredible.
topic image
My Disappointing Easter: Midwest Area Conference
Monday, Apr 13, 2009, at 07:35 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I didn't know I would be spending my Easter with a large congregation watching a satellite broadcast of three people on subjects other than Easter. It was very impersonal, disappointing, and unfulfilling. I honestly don't remember hearing anything other than a passing reference about the glorious resurrection of Christ. Happy, Easter! :(

I took a few notes from the Easter Midwest Area Conference another poster described. Not word for word:

Dallin H. Oaks [Mormon Apostle]: In his introduction, he spoke rather condescendingly of the way others celebrate easter: "This conference is NOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR EASTER. WE celebrate it WEEKLY...It is far more significant than the large and unique celebration of one Sabbath per year...Others are celebrating today with candy, eggs, and bunnies."

The majority of his talk was on subjects unrelated to Easter.

He told young people they lacked perspective. "You have ONLY 10 years of perspective...YOU DON'T SEE EVERYTHING AROUND YOU...Perspective is an advantage your parents and grandparents have.." He then brought in an example of perspective from an Audrey Hepburn movie, African Queen as if show he was in touch with culture Two main characters trying to reach Lake Victoria by boat don't realize how close they are because their perspective is obscured by the growth around them)

Oaks then spoke about his many years in Illinois and how he had spoken at virutally every stake conference in the Midwest since "being called to be an apostle 25 years ago" this month.

He emphasized how he and others had REPEATEDLY counseled us to avoid debt and become self-sufficient: "I have said this again and again at numerous stake conferences around the midwest... AVOID DEBT."

He then gave advice for keeping out debt. He paused for a few seconds, encouraging members to write these things down. "Husbands should regularly tell their wives these four things:

1) I love you

2) I'm sorry

3) Yes, dear

4) We can't afford it"

He made it very clear that the church welfare program was to be used as a last resort. I'm sure if anyone falls into need now or is using the system, they must feel VERY GUILTY. I felt really bad for a large, faithful, tithe- paying family in sitting close to me. Their father had lost his job and the church had been helping them with their mortgage payments so they wouldn't be foreclosed. Oaks words must have been very painful to them.

As an aside, the fasts offering program here in the Midwest is running a huge deficit (according to our leaders). A new strategy has been introduced to increase donations: the deacons will now travel by car great distances with the priests to collect fast offerings (this is done in Utah where member live close together-not as practical our here).

He then indicated that through TITHING we can QUALIFY for all blessings the Lord has for us.

Steven Snow: Spoke for several minutes about how his son was injured in a bike accident and was left in a coma for days. Spoke of the fun he had asking his son afterwards what day it was, knowing his son would always get it wrong because he had lost his short term memory.

Then he somehow twisted this into an lesson of how we must not lose or short spiritual memory and how we cannot rely on our long term memories, such as our mission experience, to keep us going strong. I found this interesting because many GAs have told me that their missionary experience is often the only thing that keeps them going in the gospel.

He then mentioned how we cannot hang our faith on visits from heavenly messengers, noting how Laman and Lemuel turned away after seeing an angel. I wasn't sure how to reconcile this with importance placed on the first vision.

Summary: we cannot rely upon past spiritual experiences. Compare this to Elder Eyring's talk, "Remember: from a few years ago.

Margeret Lifferth: A very nice lady who spoke about growing up in Ames, Iowa and other warm fuzzies that warmed up local members.

President Monson: I don't remember what he talked about. He spoke very softly and they didn't turn up the sound. I looked around and it didn't seme like many were payng attention. I think he was telling some nice stories about widows and little boys in his trademark sing-songy voice.

Rather than speak about Christ, the speakers essentially spoke about getting more people to do their duties, come to church, participate in activities, and pay tithing.
topic image
"Profit" / "Apostate" Oaks To Mormons In Eight States: You Were Warned; You're On Your Own
Tuesday, Apr 14, 2009, at 09:16 AM
Original Author(s): Troubled Wife
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
It is really up to the bishop as to how much help you can get from the wards, and bishops are under a lot of pressure from the higher ups!

Here's my experience:

as a kid, I didn't know any difference - I know my folks would occasionally get food orders, normally we didn't go with them, the food just showed up.

As a young, newly married, realizing we just were not making it, I went to the bishop for help - just food please, I've worked out a lot with our creditors....

I was told that we needed to quit our job (that we had looked for 6 months for, moved ourselves 1200 miles to accept, and dh was moving up the "chain"), and move back home with family (his folks were on church assistance for health reasons, his brother the church was paying to keep on a mission, his married sister and bil were between jobs... my side, I was the oldest and only one with a job, brother was incarcerated)! So, we wouldn't get any help from that bishop. So I refused to pay tithing (first time in my life). I needed that money to put a meager $25.00 a week on the table (my husband and myself) and diaper a newborn baby.

Three years later, I went to the state, and dh was making too much money for aide, so I went to the bishop again. He insisted we needed to pay tithing. So, I stopped paying the bills and paid tithing, only to be told that we weren't worthy enough to receive any help because we weren't being honest with our fellow men!

GOOD GAWD! I was visiting teaching his DIL.... she worked at a local big business, making what my dh made, married to a guy who worked for another big company making twice what my dh made, she only had two kids from a previous marriage. Every month that I visited her she would cry praises for the church's welfare program because with out it, she wouldn't be able to feed her kids! (DAMN! I had 3 by that time and had just realized I was too far along with #4 to do anything but have another baby!) While we lived in that ward, from that time on, I was inactive, refused to pay anything towards tithing, but craved the visits from my visiting teachers (we were never home-taught), and I never went back asking for help again either. I wasn't going to even be a burden on the ward when we had babies - I didn't let them know when I had my 4th baby, so no meals were brought in, no help with the kids was ever accepted (though as a young mom I sure could have used it), unless I paid a teen to help me.

Then the next ward that we got help in.... We had just bought a house, which because of the number of kids we had (6) we were actually saving $200/mo! My mother had died, my FIL had died. My father was out of work, my MIL was sewing her heart out to try and keep the lights on. Two weeks after we moved into our new house (a HUD repo with LOTS of work needed), dh's job unexpectedly lost funding. Lucky for us the big corporation had another position in another department for dh. BUT, it made us go 3 weeks without a paycheck. There just was no way.

So, I swallowed my "pride" and went to the bishop. Immediately I was told that we needed to sell our house! and go back to renting. There was no help for us! UMMMM, we were paying $200 LESS than renting because of the number of kids we had... and the $950 that we had been paying was finally breaking down and lying to a new landlord and saying we only had 3 kids! Selling was NOT an option! Last time I went to that bishop. We sucked up and put up with the bad credit scores that ensued because of the timing of pay checks... not fun.

Then, two years later, a new bishop, I was his wife's VT... somehow it got out that we were struggling. This bishop was an owner of a new string of stores - Whole Foods. Though we didn't qualify for church aid (we didn't pay tithing), he had a very kind heart. Every week, we would come home from work and find big baskets and boxes of fresh produce and farmer's goods. He may never know how much that meant to us, though he denied that he was the one who was delivering the goods (non-member neighbors told us it was a man in his truck that was delivering the food, so we knew it was him).

The next ward, we paid our tithing, much to the woes of my dh who has never had a "testimony" of tithing. Then, the dot com industry had a problem. We were in the ranks of the UNEMPLOYED - well, out of his consistent and constant paychecks. We went to the bishop. The first thing out of his mouth was to sell the house! Ummmm, where would we go - we had 8 kids! The next thing was to call on family - again, ummmmm, Nope, no go. Sure there was ONE family member who was willing to take us on... in her 1300 SF house with 4 other kids and an abusive husband! NO THANKS. We had to get letters from all our family explaining their living situation. GAWD, if that isn't awful!

Finally, he agreed that the church could provide us with food (I was still working by attending births), but ONLY if dh would really go out and get work. SHOOOT... do you know how many times I had to take our 3 ringed, 3 inch binder into the bishop's office? Yes, we documented every contact, every hour dh was looking for work!

After 5 months, I was told that they couldn't keep giving us food unless I went out and got a job with a consistent and constant paycheck (births were sporatic). So I did - but now my job didn't pay as much as the births had, so we NEEDED to have the house payment made - my job ONLY covered the utilities. They DID come through, it took 3 months, but they did finally come through...

BUT, then the stake pres told us that we needed to sell.... and he was even adamant as to whom we should sell our house to! An investor who lived in the Stake president's ward! NO THANK YOU! He had already contacted us and was only willing to buy from us for 1/3rd of what we owed...not even close to the $700K that the house would have sold for on the market at that time!

Well, of course the leaders that were insisted that we would loose the house and be on the street in no time. BUT, we were able to keep things going... finally landing DH a job with the largest private corporation selling handguns at the time (WALMART). Finally with dh's new pay, my pay we made 1/2 of what he had made previously...so I contacted our creditors again... got off of church financial assistance (and onto state aid for medical), and only used the bishop's storehouse (should have done the food stamps, but hind-sight is lots better than being in the moment).

13 months later, we FINALLY got a job paying more than he had made before he had been laid off. BUT, after all the "S#!T" we went through, we have decided that it will be a cold day in the tropics before we ever approach the bishop again, and we will NEVER go onto food help either. We'll grow it or get help elsewise if we find we are in need.

So, all this to say agree that when the Saints need help, as much as they may have paid into the system, the church probably WILL NOT pay them a dime or help them at all. There will definitely be boats of guilt heaped upon anyone who asks for any help. And well, the idea of having mortgages/rents utilities or other bills paid... when hell gets icy! You have a better chance of getting help from the state or the banking industry! Signature
topic image
Oaks: We Should Follow The Spirit In Determining How Much We Shun Disobedient Children
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 11:54 AM
Original Author(s): Bamboom
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The Dalin H Oakes talk. I'm watching him harp on about 'law'. Not surprising since he's a lawyer. I met him once at the Edinburgh mission home when I was 18. He had that same pinched look then as well. While listening to him talk about this situation where 'good Mormon parents' are confronted with this dilemma of one of their kids living in non-married sin I noticed that he was talking about an abstract version of the situation according to law. Oh how difficult for these godly parents when this 'sinful kid' says, 'If you loved me you wouldn't judge me and you'd accept me as I am'...etc. etc. and blah blah.

What was missing was a recognition of the reality. These abstract 'good mormon parents' full of spiritual purity he was talking about don't exist. Most mormon parents have a huge trail of hypocrisy behind them, of their own hideous mistakes, their shady business dealings, their own pettiness, their own pick-and-mixing of church doctrines, their own spiritual failures, their own betrayals of their own ideas and their children, their own shabby behaviour.

What's missing is where the kid 'living in sin' says not, 'If you loved me you would accept me', but rather, 'Who the hell are you to lecture me given some of the things you've done? Who the hell do you think you are? Why don't spend more time addressing you're own shallowness and hyprocrisy instead of lecturing me? Come to think of it, there are a bunch of ways in which your own eternal temple marriage is a complete emotional sham in order to keep up appearances. Is that what you think I should be doing?'

But Oakes carefully avoids getting into that. In fact that's the problem with all these conference 'talks'. They're full of cherry-picked pearls of wisdom and high-sounding ideals but never address squarely real human life, and they always assume that faithful members or parents are somehow paragons of virtue who would have a right to pontificate the way they do from the tabernacle pulpit.

As for this arrogance from the pulpit, this pretended 'quietness' and this calm, patronising delivery style.....it's just so obvious how much it's a practised technique, all the techniques you pick up in cheesy business seminars that teach you how to 'win friends and influence people'. It's almost embarrassing. I can't help but notice how much the whole thing looks like a mini-me senate or congress, trying to ape the look of 'power' and 'authority' of government bodies, the same attempt to look very serious while dispensing quite shallow and hackneyed responses that utterly fail to address to the human existential situation as it actually is globally, rather than simply as it is in some kind of 50's Utah Sunday School Valley.
topic image
Rephrase Of Oaks
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 11:56 AM
Original Author(s): Sthilda87
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
God has a plan- known and dispensed only through the LDS Church.

Mercy is only for those who stick to the plan.

God's love and mercy is conditional.

Blessings are found only by obedience to the LDS Church.

If you make any mistakes, you have not been following HF's plan.

God loves you only when you are doing right.

Oaks and Co know God's plan for you. You might think you know, but if you are not following LDS teachings, you are operating contrary to God's law.

God = Law = LDS Teachings

God's plan might Qualify us for eternity.

Blessings require Obedience.

Gifts are conditioned on Obedience. Love is conditioned on obedience.

Parents must rescue those of us who have wandered.

I don't know what compelled me to watch this oppressive double-think. Lately, I have been struggling mightily with what I believe about God, love, consequence, etc. So I imagine it's good that I watched this, because I've been away long enough, that I forgot how sneakily manipulative this LDS doctrine is.

I heard someone on this forum explain that the hardest thing for those of us who have left is to discern what we really believe vs what is indoctrination.

I have been struggling with my understanding of God, which is still muddied by LDS teachings.

The question for me - Is there a loving God? What do I know about a Higher Power, and what is just mental static, courtesy of TSCC?

Sometimes it seems so much easier to determine that no God exists. After all, wouldn't a loving God not allow the LDS church to exist, and to contaminate my mind with Oaksian garbage?

How am I supposed to proceed in faith, with all of this horse shiza in my head?

When it comes right down to it, I am just hoping that there is Something bigger, eternal, transcendent, and just bigger than me, and that love, mercy, truth and goodness are signs of His existence.

All of this talk of Law and Justice and Correction and Discipline seems like transparent tools of control and oppression.
topic image
The Family Relationships Wouldn't Be Impaired If Family Members Who Believe In The Church's Doctrine Would Mind Their Own Business
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009, at 11:58 AM
Original Author(s): Mantisdolphin
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
What set me off about Oaks' talk was that the over-emphasis on law implicitly advises TBM family members that shunning is an option. Oaks isn't going to come out and say "Shun your family members who aren't part of the church." That sounds too uncharitable. No one would buy it but the most diehard fanatics. But ultimately, what else can one conclude from what he said?

He used the word "chasteneth," saying that God chastens and thereby shows his love. So if you love your kids, your family members, then chastening them is fine. He advised the church members that "real love for the sinner may compel confrontation." What does that mean? "Confrontation" sounds pretty active, in your face, and that can include the social violence of shunning or stigmatizing (and of course there is no lack of that directed by church members toward "apostates"). Both shunning and stigmatizing reinforce and call forth each other.

Oaks said, "real love does not support self-destructive behavior." Okay, sure I'm not going to let my kid run into the street. That's destructive behavior; I'm going to try to get a spouse help who abuses alcohol. But is it "self-destructive" for someone to decide to follow another religious or existential path than one laid out by the church? That's pretty much that person's decision I think. What some members of the church may see or construe as "self-destructive" behavior could be someone just following his or her conscience to believe what seems right for that person. The eleventh article of faith covers that. So the TBMs should really just back the F off. Oaks is having none of that though. He wants them being confrontational and chastising with the non-believers in their families. Of all the aggressive means in the believer's playbook against a family member who is apostatizing, "shunning"--the action of purposefully ignoring someone, leaving them out of consideration--covers a lot of what would be done. Omission becomes commission.

For Oaks to say that someone not kowtowing to the church's view of salvation leaves a family in a "house divided," with the "son divided against the father," etc., just invites--and this is really the only point that matters in finding Oaks' talk hateful--TBM family members to perform their "patient efforts" to "unite" their straying loved ones "in understanding God's love and God's law." Those "patient efforts" could involve shunning, subtle forms of stigmatizing, all manner of BS that most people on this board have experienced first-hand. Oaks couches the TBM compulsion in gentle terms in his conclusion, but he advances his argument with terms like "division" in the home and the inevitability ("after all we can do") of "impairing" our family relationships. These are not part of a live and let live philosophy, but of a relentless badgering of the non-believing family member.

The family relationships wouldn't be impaired if family members who believe in the church's doctrine would mind their own business (something Oaks doesn't want them to do). If the TBMs just got along with their own "happiness"--not letting it be contingent on re-activating or baptizing "wayward" family members--then there would be no problem. But Oaks is interested in fanning flames of division. He wants the church members to feel the necessity to "confront" their "loved one" who has left the tithing fold. To me, his talk invites TBMs to be aggressive in their re-conversion efforts, and that's not what I need my family to hear as I try to get them the heck out of this stupid church. I'm trying to de-tox them and he's trying to get them to spread the poison anew.
topic image
Dear Mr. Oaks: Family, Isn't It About Time?
Monday, Oct 12, 2009, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Moniker
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dear Mr. Oaks,

I listened to your conference address and have felt the effects of your talk in my personal life. I feel compelled to let you know the actions your words have caused in my life.

I did not leave the Mormon church because of any personal offenses by my family or friends within the church. Choosing to leave the Mormon faith was a very difficult decision for me. I was obeying all of the commandments at the time that I started researching Mormon literature and history to find the truths for myself. I was simply following Joseph Smith's example, by searching the truth of religion. I was sad to realize how untrue the church was, after reading the Church's early documents.

I had loving and supportive parents. Even though I knew they would be disappointed, I did not think my family would shun me the way they did when I told them my thoughts about the church. I was expecting them to still love me unconditionally. I was very disappointed. They used all kinds of threats and manipulation to get me to go back to church. When my mom died and we were dressing her body, my dad took the opportunity as a missionary lesson and said, "If you go to the temple again, you will be able to see her again. If not, you will never, ever see her again." This was a very horrible thing to say to a daughter who has just lost her best friend, her mother. It really hurt me. This and being left out of family get-togethers or barely being tolerated, simply because of my beliefs, helped me to see even more clearly what my family members' true colors were.

Before this experience with my family, I was so torn about what to do concerning the church. On the one hand, I did not like to live a lie by participating in an organization I did not agree with and that I thought was corrupt. On the other hand, I couldn't reconcile how a corrupt organization could have so many wonderful people as members. I looked up to and admired many mormon friends, family members and professors. However, when my friends and family turned away from me because of my beliefs, my previous notions about the people within the church were shattered. It was a testimony to me of what a corrupt organization can do to otherwise loving and good people.

In your talk, you claimed that a parent who keeps loving a child unconditionally, when that child is not "obeying the law", knows nothing of love. I disagree and feel that you know nothing about love. Firstly, your belief in your church is not "the law". It is a belief that you are free to have. A child who has a belief differing from yours is not "wayward" and is in need of neither fixing nor manipulating, especially not when one's child is an adult, as you suggested. Adult children should be free to choose their own religious belief system without expecting to be shunned or chastised by their family. Secondly, parental love does not know conditions or bounds. It does not manipulate. A family is supposed to stick together, through good and hard times and no matter what the individual members' beliefs are or aren't. A divided family is not a functional family. You suggested that although being seperated from family members who are not believing or living all of your church's teachings is painful for the righteous Mormons, it is sometimes necessary. I find this instruction to the members of your church to be hurtful. The personal effects are devestating and very painful to many Exmormons.

Since leaving the church and Utah, I have met many wonderful families. I'm envious of the loving, unconditional love and respect they show each other. I never saw this at this level with Mormon families. Since Mormons claim to have cornered the market on perfect families, this fallacy is even more difficult to digest.

Your talk had very interesting timing for me personally. I am of pioneer stock and all of my family members are very active in your church. I am a BYU graduate. I served way beyond what was asked of me within your church. I tell you this before you scoff to yourself and think, "I'm glad a loser like her is out of my church anyway." I am a good person and was a good Mormon. I was such a great daughter, sister and aunt. My family was my world and I love them more than I will ever be able to express in words. However, my son is my closest family member and I have to consider his needs in life first, above all else. I simply cannot expose him to the hurt of my family. I don't want him to be shunned and manipulated by family members the way I was. I think that not having an extended family is better than having a very hurtful, caustic one. There is not a place in my family for people who do not believe as they believe.

It is very sad to not have any grandparents for my darling baby though. They don't get to hear his first words or see his first steps. They don't get hand colored scribbles of "I love you" in the mail. My son doesn't get to see them at Christmas or to play with his many cousins. I was so sad about this recently, that I was considering letting them back into my life, even after the very hurtful ways they treated me, simply for being true to my own belief system.

I was starting to talk to my dad again by phone and email. I was skeptical because of how much he hurt me and proved to me that my family really wasn't a family at all. However, I did not want to deprive my baby of an extended family, so I was willing to have an open mind and heart about my family and give them another chance. There was another reason for opening the door to my family again: I loved them unconditionally. I love them so deeply and truly that it hurts because they continually put their religious beliefs before their love for me. These are the reasons why I opened myself back up to them again. I was treading lightly and using caution though, as I did not want to hurt my son indirectly, through my family's almost sociopathic need to "follow their leaders".

Then came your talk! Next came my family's horrible attacks on my character and my own little family. I once again am reminded of the pain the Mormon church leaves in its wake. I don't need to go through that pain again. I don't need my son to think this is the way a family is supposed to behave. I will teach him how loving family members treat each other through my unconditional love for him. He will know me by my fruits. I am grateful for my family in that they have taught me exactly how not to be in raising my own family. I have learned much from them.

I'm very happy to be at even more peace than ever with my decision to leave the Mormon church. I have no doubt at all now that it was the right thing to do. The evidence of how corrupt and unloving the Mormon church is has been impossible to ignore lately. I used to love it and it pained me to have it out of my life, even after it no longer represented any kind of truth for me. Now, I am at peace because I have watched the behavior of many Mormons long enough now to see how a corrupt organization turns love into a perverse concept. I am finally free of the guilt I had in keeping my son from my family. They are the ones keeping themselves from him. I would be an idiot to give them another chance. Thank you for your talk and especially for the timing of it. My son's life will be richly blessed because of it.

Sincerely,

A Loving Exmormon Mom
topic image
Oaks Is Too Obtuse To See The Irony
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Multiple Authors
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From the Salt Lake Tribune:
LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks on Tuesday likened the post-Proposition 8 backlash against Mormons to the persecution blacks endured during the civil-rights struggle.

"Were four little Mormon girls blown up in the church at Sunday school? Were there burning crosses planted on local bishops' lawns? Were people lynched and their genitals stuffed in their mouths?" asked University of Utah historian Colleen McDannell. "By comparing these two things, it diminishes the real violence that African-Americans experienced in the '60s, when they were struggling for equal rights. There is no equivalence between the two."

Oaks, in a strongly worded defense of the church's efforts opposing same-sex marriage, told students at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg that Latter-day Saints "must not be deterred or coerced into silence" by advocates for "alleged civil rights."

Last year, the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged its followers to donate money and time to pass Prop 8, the successful ballot measure that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to wed in California. Afterward, protests, including several near LDS temples, erupted along with boycotts of business owners who donated to Prop 8 and even some vandalism of LDS meetinghouses.

"In their effect," Oaks said, "they are like the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation."

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP's Salt Lake branch, said there is "no comparison."

"I don't see where the LDS Church has been denied any of their rights," she said. "What the gay and lesbian communities are fighting for, that is a civil-rights issue."
http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_1355258...

This analogy is so twisted on so many levels, but for one, where was LDS during the civil rights marches of the 1960s... Oh, that's right. Ezra Taft Benson was denouncing it as a communist plot, while the rank and file held the separation of races as part of the divine plan. Here's just one quote from a Church approved manual back then...

“Perhaps the most convincing book in JUSTIFICATION of the south in DENYING TO THE NEGRO RACE SOCIAL EQUALITY with the white race is the one written by William Benjamin Smith, entitled The Color Line, A Brief in Behalf of the Unborn, from which the following is a quotation: “'Here, then, is laid bare the news of the whole matter: Is the south JUSTIFIED in this ABSOLUTE DENIAL OF SOCIAL EQUALITY to the NEGRO, no matter what his (personal) virtues or abilities or accomplishments? “'We affirm, then that the south is ENTIRELY RIGHT in thus keeping open at all times, at all hazards, and at all sacrifices an IMPASSIBLE SOCIAL CHASM BETWEEN BLACK AND WHITE. This she must do in behalf of her blood, her essence, of the stock of her Caucasian race.... The moment the bar of ABSOLUTE SEPERATION is thrown down in the south, that moment the bloom of her spirit is BLIGHTED FOREVER,... That the negro is MARKEDLY INFERIOR to the Caucasian is proved both craniologically and by six thousand years of planet-wide experimentation; and that the commingling of INFERIOR with SUPERIOR must lower the higher is just as certain as that the half-sum of two and six is only four.' (The Color Line, pp. 7-12)” (First Year Book in the Seventy's Course in Theology, pages 231-233)

The LDS Church has now just proclaimed that their religious freedom is now under attack because they were successful in denying civil rights to a minority group?

Am I getting that right?

And Oaks has the absolute gall to compare themselves to the same persecution the African American community had in the past?

Please, would someone in the media call this so called church out???

I now have absolutely ZERO respect for Dallin H Oaks. Good job, Mr Apostle man.

I find it ironic that this impassioned, if misguided and ill-informed, defense is coming from Mr. Oaks. This is the man who has repeatedly claimed: "It's wrong to criticize leaders of the church, even if the criticism is true." If he had the run of the world, I somehow don't expect that free speech would be thriving.
topic image
White Noise From The Supremacist Boys: Oaks' Insulting Performance In Twisting LDS Racist History
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2009, at 07:49 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
One of Mormonusm's top (and arguably most malevolent) hierarchal henchmen, Dallin H. Oaks--in a fresh warning to a youthfully malleable, blindly obedient, humbly assembled herd of student sheep at Idaho's extension of Brigham Young University--sought to liken stiff opposition to the Mormon Church’s recent political campaign of subterfuge against equal rights for gays to the ugly racist opposition encountered by African-Americans during the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Claiming that Mormons, like African-Americans, have been the victims of “aggressive intimidation” and "violence," Oaks declared that such incidents were “anti-democratic” in nature and comparable to “the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation.” (Dallin H. Oaks, "Religious Freedom," transcript of speech delivered at Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, 13 October 2009)

Oaks’ effort to cloak Mormons in the same national experience of pain and suffering as faced by Black Americans in the South was a shocking manifestation of his boundless, egregious, and pitifully arrogant insensitivity--particularly since it comes from a man who represents a Mormon Church that is itself saddled with a long, ugly and authenticated legacy of bigoted doctrinal teachings and practices against African-Americans.

Oaks inexcusable effort to equate the political resistance Mormons have encountered in their designs to deny equal rights to gays with the torturous and brutal racist treatment to which American Blacks have been mercilessly subjected for generations was not only breathtakingly inappropriate but factually selective and historically indefensible.

In sneakily and self-servingly seeking to make Mormons blood-brothers with African-Americans in both plight and purpose, Oaks conveniently left out of his self-pitying speech any mention of the history of the Salt Lake City-based Mormon Church’s racially-poisoned pronouncements and actions over the last several decades that specifically targeted Utah's African-American community (and, indeed, African-Americans across the country) for social isolation, criminal punishment and sweeping denial of equal protection under the law.

Respected historian on Mormon matters D. Michael Quinn (who happens to be gay) offers a devastatingly detailed account of the Utah Mormon Church’s blatant anti-Black plan-of-action bigotry. Entitled “Prelude to the National ‘Defense of Marriage’ Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities,” it recounts the cold-hearted track record of the Mormon Church behind Utah’s Zion Curtain in waging relentless racial war against the state's Black population.

Let us count the ways it historically did so, as outlined by Quinn:

--The Utah’s Mormon Church Sanction of State Laws Against Interracial Marriage, Combined with Mormon Church Encouragement of Death Threats Against Blacks--

In what he aptly describes as Mormon “social hysteria,” Quinn recounts how, with the Mormon Church’s support, laws were enacted in Utah that made interracial marriage a punishable crime. In the process of cementing such laws into place, sentiments were publicly expressed by Mormon Church leaders condoning the actual killing of African-Americans found in violation of the state's anti-Black marriage laws.

As Quinn notes:

“This [social hysteria] was . . . evident in Salt Lake City, where a warning to ‘meddle not with white women’ was pinned to the flesh of a murdered black man in 1866. LDS apostle Brigham Young, Jr., referred to the murdered man as ‘a [rhymes with “trigger”].’ This occurred three years after his father [Mormon Church president Brigham Young] had publicly informed the Mormons that if African-Americans had relations with white women, ‘the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot.’”

Quinn notes that “President Young's published sermon gave official encouragement for Mormons to kill black men,” adding that, in Quinn’s opinion, Young was therefore “morally responsible for this 1866 murder.”

”Likewise,” Quinn writes, “in an 1881 sermon on Salt Lake's Temple Square, Southern States Mission President John Morgan spoke approvingly of hanging Negro males ‘to a lamp-post’ for ‘impudence.’ This appeared in the officially published ‘Deseret News' and ‘Journal of Discourses,’ and Morgan became an LDS General Authority a year after a Salt Lake City mob lynched an African-American male on a lamp-post in 1883 for killing an LDS bishop. Apostle Heber J. Grant wrote that ‘the citizens’ hanged ‘the [again, rhymes with “trigger”].’”

Quinn further observes:

“There was no mystery about why Utah law continued to prohibit interracial marriage. In 1947, the First Presidency wrote that ‘the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, [is] a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now.’ In other words, the First Presidency condemned interracial marriage as abnormal. In 1950, Counselor Clark added that "anything that breaks down the color line leads to marriage." Five years later, on behalf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Joseph Fielding Smith wrote to the First Presidency about African-American members of the LDS church in Utah and referred to the "danger of intermarriage."

“In 1963, Utah ended its restrictions on interracial marriage, and Counselor [Hugh B.] Brown officially endorsed civil rights for persons of all races that year. However, until that year, every living prophet of the LDS church since Brigham Young either actively opposed the civil rights of African-Americans or passively endorsed the existing civil discriminations against them in Utah.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Early and Continued Support of Institutionalized Slavery--

Writes Quinn:

“Even after federal emancipation of America's slaves in the 1860s, LDS Church president Brigham Young referred to African-American slavery as a religious necessity. Earlier, as both Church president and governor, he had instructed the Utah legislature in 1852 to legalize the slavery of African-Americans.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Complicity in the Entrenchment of Racially Discriminatory Laws Against Utah Blacks--

Notes Quinn:

“Utah's racial discrimination did not occur by happenstance nor did it continue into modern times by accident. It was promoted by the highest leaders of the state's dominant [Mormon] Church. As late as 1941, Counselor J. Reuben Clark used the word [rhymes with ‘trigger’] in his First Presidency office diary. In 1944, the First Presidency authorized local LDS leaders to join ‘as individuals a civic organization whose purpose is to restrict and control negro settlement’ in Salt Lake City. A year later, LDS president George Albert Smith wrote: ‘Talked to Pres. Clark and Nicholas [G. Smith, an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles] about the use of [LDS] meeting houses for meetings to prevent Negroes from becoming neighbors.' The Church president's diary did not indicate whether he endorsed or opposed this activity, but his brother Nicholas G. Smith described it as ‘race hatred.’"

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Support of Denial of Food, Hotel and Other Basic Services to Utah Blacks--

Quinn writes:

”For more than a century, Utah restricted African-Americans from patronizing white restaurants and hotels, prohibited them from public swimming pools, and required them to sit in the balconies of theaters. During World War II, African-Americans wearing their nation's uniform had to sit in the balcony of Utah theaters, while German prisoners-of-war sat on the main floor with white servicemen and civilians. Utah law also prohibited marriage between a white person and a black (including persons only one-eighth Negro).”

“During this era of Utah's racial segregation, the First Presidency . . . repeatedly affirmed that no African-American could stay at the LDS church-owned Hotel Utah (which had maintained this exclusion since its opening in 1911). The LDS president was president of the hotel, and his counselors were its senior vice-presidents. The First Presidency explained this racial exclusion as simply ‘the practice of the hotel.’

”Internationally renowned singer Marian Anderson endured this racial discrimination in Utah. When she gave her first recital at the University of Utah's Kingsbury Hall, this African-American was denied entry to any of Salt Lake City's hotels and had to stay with one of the concert's promoters. When she returned in March 1948 to participate in a concert at the LDS Church's Salt Lake Tabernacle, the First Presidency relented. America's beloved contralto ‘was allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah on condition that she use the freight elevator.’ This world-famous black woman was not allowed to use the main entrance and lobby. Likewise, invited to speak at the University of Utah, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Ralph Bunche was allowed to stay at the LDS church's hotel in 1951 only after this black man agreed to use the freight elevator, ‘have his meals in his room and not come to the dining room.’

”Due to their international fame, Anderson and Bunche were exceptions to the Mormon rules of race. As Hotel Utah's senior vice-president, J. Reuben Clark explained: ‘Since they are not entitled to the Priesthood, the Church discourages social intercourse with the negro race . . . .’ Therefore, African-Americans were denied equal access to the LDS church's hotel in order ‘to preserve the purity of the race that is entitled to hold the Priesthood.’”

“In 1961, a survey of Salt Lake City by the NAACP showed that 12 percent of cafes, restaurants, and taverns declined to serve blacks, while 80 percent of the city's beauty shops and barber shops refused to do so. Likewise, 72 percent of Salt Lake City's hotels and 49 percent of its motels refused accommodations to African-Americans that year.”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Advocacy of Separate Blood Banks for Whites and Blacks In Order to Maintain the "Purity" of White Mormon Blood--

“In 1953, a First Presidency secretary also informed a white Mormon about the less-obvious extent of Utah's racial segregation: ‘The L.D.S. Hospital here in Salt Lake City has a blood bank which does not contain any colored blood.’ According to [First] Presidency counselor J. Reuben Clark, this policy of segregating African-American blood from the blood donated by so-called ‘white people’ was intended ‘to protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.’”

--The Utah Mormon Church’s Support of Racial Discrimination Outside the Boundaries of Utah--

As Quinn reports:

“President [Joseph F.] Smith's counselors . . . extended their support of racial segregation to states beyond Utah. In 1947, when discussing the site of the future Los Angeles temple, Counselor Clark asked the LDS Church's attorney in that area ‘to purchase as much of that property as we can in order to control the colored situation.’ A month later, during the meeting of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Salt Lake Temple, ‘President Clark called attention to the sentiment among many people in this country to the point that we should break down all racial lines, [and] as a result of which sentiment negro people have acquired an assertiveness that they never before possessed and in some cases have become impudent.’ In 1949, while criticizing the legislative efforts in Arizona to ‘guarantee rights of Negroes,’ LDS presidency counselor David O. McKay said, ‘The South knows how to handle them and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there--[but] in California they are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.’” (Quinn adds that McKay, in fact, “instructed an Arizona stake president against that state's proposed legislation to ‘guarantee rights of Negroes’") . . . Likewise, in 1950 Counselor Clark wrote: 'Race tolerance: the trend is just terrible.’”

--Efforts At Obstruction by Utah’s Mormon Church of National Civil Rights Legislation Designed to Grant Equality to Blacks in Broad Areas of Daily Life--

“With such beliefs,” writes Quinn, “the LDS First Presidency did what it could to block national efforts for the civil rights of African-Americans. As previously noted, Counselor McKay in 1949 instructed an Arizona stake president against that state's proposed legislation to 'guarantee rights of Negroes.' Making specific reference to the desegregation controversy in Little Rock, Arkansas, Counselor Clark in 1957 instructed Belle Smith Spafford ‘that she should do what she could to keep the National Council [of Women] from going on record in favor of what in the last analysis would be regarded as negro equality.’ At that time, Spafford was a vice-president of the National Council of Women.

”As American views began changing toward race relations from the 1940s onward, the Mormons of Utah continued to follow the example of LDS leaders against civil rights for African-Americans. There was widespread use in all-white neighborhoods of Utah's Uniform Real Estate Contract, Form 30, which prohibited the purchaser of real estate and his/her heirs from reselling the property ‘to any person not of the Caucasian race.’ The Salt Lake City School District prohibited blacks from being teachers and from fulfilling student-teaching requirements of their university training. In addition, 40 percent of Utah's employers refused to hire Negroes. Employers who did hire blacks also discriminated against them in job assignment, promotion, and salary. Blacks were prohibited from eating at the lunch counter of Salt Lake's City-County Building. All of Utah's bowling alleys excluded African-Americans, and LDS hospitals segregated black patients, sometimes requiring them to pay for private rooms. This was also the policy at Utah's Catholic hospitals.”

“After Counselor Clark's death in 1961, Apostle Ezra Taft Benson became the Mormon hierarchy's strident voice against the national crusade for African-American civil rights. Benson's Negrophobic rhetoric intensified after the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 drastically changed Utah's patterns of racial discrimination. In 1965 and 1967, he stated in televised meetings on Temple Square in Salt Lake City that ‘the so-called civil rights movement as it exists today is a Communist program for revolution in America.’ In 1967, Apostle Benson also approved the use of one of his talks as the forward to the overtly racist book ‘Black Hammer’, which featured the decapitated (and profusely bleeding) head of an African-American male on its cover. Subtitled ‘White Alternatives’, this book warned about the ‘well-defined plans for the establishment of a Negro Soviet dictatorship in the South.’ In 1968, Apostle Benson also instructed BYU students about ‘black Marxists’ and ‘the Communists and their Black Power fanatics.’

”At this time, LDS president David O. McKay had a Democrat (Hugh B. Brown) as a counselor, who was mystified that McKay allowed Benson to endorse the speeches and activities of nationally known segregationists. This politically liberal counselor was unaware of the LDS church president's private views about ‘insolent’ African-Americans who wanted equal rights.

“[In 1963], Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith told ‘Look’ magazine's editor: ‘”Darkies” are wonderful people, and they have their place in our Church.’ At best, this revealed the racial paternalism that governed LDS headquarters. However, this platitude was also a smoke-screen for the worst of what Utah Mormon leaders had done against African-American rights for the previous 116 years.”

(D. Michael Quinn, “Prelude to the National ‘Defense of Marriage’ Campaign: Civil Discrimination Against Feared or Despised Minorities,” originally published in “Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought,” 33:3, pp. 1-52)

So, Dallin H. Oaks, when you so unconvincingly and with such glaring intellectual dishonesty seek sympathy by attempting, as a slippery-tongued Mormon misfit, to align your historically racist Church with “the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks [in this country]," why don’t you go one step further and inform Americans everywhere of the Mormon Church’s historic intimidation of African-Americans?

After all, thanks to your unimpressive effort at historical revisionism, that historic intimidation by the Mormon Church of Blacks is becoming, shall we say, more well-known and more widely condemned all the time.

Keep up the good work.
topic image
Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage
Friday, Oct 16, 2009, at 03:06 PM
Original Author(s): Peter_mary
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The ancient order of marriage is the divinely sanctioned union, recognized by the state, between one man and one woman.
"We follow Jesus Christ by adhering to God's law of marriage, which is marriage between one man and one woman. This commandment has been in place from the very beginning." See: http://www.sltrib.com/Faith/ci_135548...
EXCEPT, if you are the Patriarch, Abraham, in which case you can be married to Sarah (who might be your half-sister), and to Sarah's slave girl, Hagar. The ancient order of marriage is pretty liberal when it comes to marrying siblings, cousins and slaves.

EXCEPT, if you are Kind David or King Solomon, in which case you might have as many as 300 wives and 300 additional concubines, and copulating with and siring children by slaves was perfectly acceptible, both in the eyes of your citizens, and in the eyes of God, who sanctioned the practice.

EXCEPT, if you are Jesus, and married to both Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth (and likely others) [Teaching unique to early Mormon apostles, most notably Jedediah Grant, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young]

EXCEPT, if you are Joseph Smith, in which case you can secretely practice polygamy to girls as young as 14, and also be married to women who are already married to other men. The ancient order of marriage demands, however, that you don't tell your first wife about all the others, because it makes her really mad. For that matter, it's best not to tell ANYONE except your good buddies, because then they might think twice about your apostolic calling.

EXCEPT, if you are Brigham Young, in which case you can have as many as 55 wives married to you in this life, and untold numbers sealed to you in the life hereafter. It is also perfectly acceptable to divorce them if they don't take care of themselves, or expect you to take care of them.

EXCEPT, if you are John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, George Cannon, Heber Kimball, and on and on and on, in which case you can obtain a new wife every time your last wife gets worn out.

EXCEPT, if your wife died, and you're an LDS apostle, you can be sealed to another, much younger woman, so you'll get both of 'em in the eternities. (Dallin Oaks married June Dixon in 1952, who passed away in 1998. In 2000, he married Kristen McMain, both of whom are sealed to him for time and all eternity--contrary to the "ancient order of marriage.")

But other than THAT, the Mormons are absolutely correct in defending the "ancient order of marriage."
topic image
Dallin Oaks Blames Not Turning Over Subpoenaed Evidence In Hofmann Case On GA Vacation Schedule
Sunday, Jul 11, 2010, at 06:37 PM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
CA Girl writes:
"Did you know that GAs take the month of July off work?

"I ran into a friend and her husband at the fireworks on the Fourth. I was surprised to see them there on a Sunday, as he is very TBM and used to work at the COB [Church Office Building] before he retired. I won't relay the whole conversation, but at one point he said there are no GA's at the COB in July. They all take the whole month off because they 'work so hard all year during the week and spend their weekends going to regional conferences, building dedications, etc.'

"I don't really have an opinion on this practice - I was just in the church for decades, lived in Utah for several years and I never heard this before so I thought it would be interesting to share."
What "CA girl" reports about GA summer vacationing is true, as directly confirmed by Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks, with whom (along with fellow apostle Neal A. Maxwell) I had closed-door conversations in the Church Administration Building about a wide range of topics.

On the heels of the Mark Hofmann bombings in 1985 and in private one-on-one discussions I had with Oaks in his personal LDS Church office (followed by conversations I had with both him and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell in 1993 in the Church Administration Building), I learned how GA vacation schedules supposedly got in the way of the Mormon Church cooperating fully with Salt Lake City police investigators.

When I met with Oaks and Maxwell, I asked them (from an outline of questions I brought with me) "why the [Mormon] Church [was] not more open with its own historical documents, specifically as relating to the refusal of the Church to acknowledge the existence of, or share with, law enforcement authorities the McLellin papers during the Hofmann investigation."

(By way of background, William E. McLellin was, as described by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith in their book, "The Mormon Murders: A True Story of Greed, Forgery, Deceit, and Death" [New York, New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988, p. 164], "an early Apostle and close associate of Joseph Smith's who left the Church in 1836 to become one of its bitterest enemies." Naifeh and Smith wrote that "[i]t had long been rumored that McLellin, who kept the minutes at early meetings of the Twelve, had taken with him a pirate's chest full of papers, letters and journals, all of it incriminating, with which to destroy the Church. Over the years, tantalizing clues had turned up. But neither the Collection itself, nor any part of it, had ever surfaced").

This collection, contrary to Hofmann's claims, was eventually determined not to exist.

However, the LDS Church did have in its possession certain McLellin papers, as admitted by Richard E. Turley, Jr., in his Oaks-sanctioned book, "Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case" (Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1992, p. 303). It was these papers that were the subject of my conversation with Oaks and Maxwell.

In the fall of 1985, a few days after the Hofmann bombings, I accompanied Chuck Kelly (a reporter from the "Arizona Republic"), to Salt Lake City to assist him in making contacts for covering the story.

While in Utah, we attempted to get an audience with Oaks. He refused to grant a newspaper interview but did agree to meet with me in his office. I remember how starkly clean the top of Oaks' desk was. In fact, there was nothing on it at all, except for a single newspaper article, the subject of which I could not read, since from where Oaks sat, it was upside down. During our brief chat, Oaks was very cryptic in his comments, saying nothing of substance about the Hofmann scandal.

A few years later (after Hofmann had been bundled off to prison and prior to me meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in 1993), I again visited with Oaks in Salt Lake City. This time Oaks was somewhat more willing to talk about the Hofmann affair--specifically, why the Mormon Church had not, even in the face of a law enforcement subpoena, produced the McLellin papers, which it had in its possession. The reasons, Oaks said, were two-fold:

First, the Mormon Church had privately determined that the McLellin papers it possessed were not relevant to the police investigation.

Second, there were no Mormon Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper, because the Church personnel authorized to do so were all on vacation.

Fast forward to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in September 1993.

Oaks told me that the Mormon Church had discovered in mid-March of 1986 that it possessed some McLellin papers--and so publicly announced. Maxwell concurred, adding that the McLellin papers had been "stuffed away somewhere" and the Church did not realize it had them.

Oaks said that the McLellin papers held by the Mormon Church had been originally purchased by a representative sent by then-President Joseph F. Smith to Texas who, under orders to make sure they did not fall into "the wrong hands," acquired them for $50.00.

Oaks said McLellin (who became disaffected from the Mormon Church and eventually left it), had ransacked Joseph Smith's home while Smith was incarcerated and taken several of Smith's belongings. Oaks said the Mormon Church was concerned the papers McLellin had purloined would turn out to be very negative and reflect poorly on the Church. In sympathy with the Mormon Church's decision to buy these McLellin papers back, Oaks noted that President Joseph F. Smith's father, Hyrum, had been murdered by a mob and was thus naturally very sensitive to the potential negative contents of the papers.

Oaks told me that when it came to the Mormon Church's attention that it did, in fact, have McLellin papers in its possession, the discovery process was already underway, preliminary trial motions were ongoing and Hofmann was destined to plea-bargain in July.

Oaks said the Quorum of the Twelve debated about when they should bring the McLellin papers forward. He said that if the Mormon Church had at that time revealed it was in possession of McLellin's papers, the press would have made "a big brouhaha about it."

Besides, he said, the McLellin papers the Mormon Church had were of no relevance to trial evidence being requested by the police (although Oaks admitted that no one in the Quorum had read them at the time or knew what was in them).

Oaks further defended the Mormon Church's refusal to provide its McLellin papers to law enforcement investigators on the grounds that the subpoena only requested McLellin documents that Hofmann, not the Church, was said to have possessed.

He said that the whole question of this portion of the investigation centered on whether Hofmann even had the McLellin papers. Oaks said that the Mormon Church made a conscious decision not to bring forward the McLellin papers during the preliminaries. He said the Mormon Church decided it would wait until those proceedings were over, then produce them before trial. That option was negated, he said, when Hofmann plea-bargained in July.

Oaks also argued that the Mormon Church only had between May and August of that year as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out. Since everyone was on vacation in August, he said, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

At any rate, he maintained, that interval was too narrow, so the Mormon Church decided to wait until Turley's book, "Victims," was published in 1992. Oaks said the book explained the proper context, the role of the Mormon Church and the facts on the ground regarding the McLellin papers. Following its publication, Oaks said the Mormon Church decided to release the McLellin documents it had in its possession.

Oaks claimed that at the time the Mormon Church brought them out, it realized (apparently, he suggested, for the first time) that they spoke positively and glowingly of the LDS Church. He said they were written by McLellin in his earlier missionary years of Church service.

So, blame all that uncooperative foot-draggin' on the Mormon Church's vacation schedule for its hierarchy. The calendar made them do it.

Yeah, that's the ticket.
topic image
Dallin Oaks Spoke Yesterday
Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Michaelm
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Dallin Oaks spoke yesterday on the constitution:
"Whatever the merits of current controversies over the laws of marriage ... if the decisions of federal courts can override the actions of state lawmakers on this subject, we have suffered a significant constitutional reallocation of lawmaking power from the lawmaking branch to the judicial branch and from the states to the federal government."
In 1967 the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that:
"Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
Less than ten years after the federal courts banned states from prohibiting interracial marriage, a member of a stake presidency told my wife that she should marry "her own kind".

Are these priesthood folks really going to save the constitution?
"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. **Everything** may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks, footnote 28, Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction p. xliii

Here are two preambles. The first is from the United States Constitution. The second is from the Constitution of the Confederate States.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Confederate States of America.

Oaks Speech:
"I referred to these fundamentals as the divinely inspired principles in the Constitution, and I here affirm my belief that they are."
(Confederate constitution mentions guidance of God in the preamble, U.S. constitution does not)
"I mention first what is probably the most important of the great fundamentals of the United States Constitution-the principle of popular sovereignty"
(The preamble to the Confederate constitution mentions sovereignty, the U.S. constitution does not. It is so important in the confederate version that it is in the opening sentance.)
"The dominance of state law will also be changed if, after full review, federal courts decree that a state law on marriage is invalid under the United States Constitution."
Constitutional rights for interracial marriage flies in the face of what Oaks said here. Oaks ignores mention of Loving v. Virginia: "Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."

The Oaks speech is very disturbing to me.
topic image
Did Dallin Oaks Ever Retract This Or Explain It?
Thursday, Sep 30, 2010, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Joseph
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
On August 16, 1985, Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:
"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?"
("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)

For those not familiar with Hoffman and the forged documents this link may help.

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/track...

Odd that The Lord's Anointed did not detect the forgeries but Jerald Tanner, one of the main Anti-Mormon researchers around was the one raising doubts and questions. At the time Hoffman was not happy with Jerald over this.
topic image
Elder Oaks: Gay Rights Will Take Away Religous Freedom
Tuesday, Feb 8, 2011, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Lloyd Dobler
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
See: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...
"Along with many others, I see a serious threat to the freedom of religion in the current assertion of a 'civil right' of homosexuals to be free from religious preaching against their relationships. Religious leaders of various denominations affirm and preach that sexual relations should only occur between a man and a woman joined together in marriage. One would think that the preaching of such a doctrinal belief would be protected by the constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion, to say nothing of the guarantee of free speech. However, we are beginning to see worldwide indications that this may not be so."
I think what is really pissing Oaks of is the trend of religion becoming more and more marginalized, not because of some sort of reverse discrimination but because religion in general and mormonism specifically is failing to effectively compete in the public marketplace.

From the article:

In his speech, Elder Oaks cited a number of religiously diverse examples and leaders in highlighting his four points on preserving religious freedom:

Religious teachings and religious organizations are valuable and important to a free society, thus "deserving of their special legal protection."

What he really means is MORE valuable and important than other organizations in society. Sorry dude, its not MORE anyMORE.What he is also saying is goddamnit I don't want to be within 1 million miles of our tax status being messed with!

Religious freedom "undergirds the origin and existence of this country and is the dominating civil liberty."

A nod to the old, "everything will fall apart in society if we abandon religion", fear tactic. And since when is religious freedom the dominating civil liberty?

The constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion "is weakening in its effects and in public esteem."

What he is really saying is that less and less people are listening to religious leaders and even...gasp....mormon apostles. He is being tricky because it really is not free exercise of religion that is weakening but the practice of religion itself that is weakening.

Such a weakening can be attributed "to the ascendancy of moral relativism."

Such weakening of religion (not his red herring religious freedom) is attributed not to moral relativisim but to the morality of people putting people ahead of religious institutions. Yeah Oaks, less and less you your members are going to be selling out their own family members and friends for you and your 14 buddies in the future, you better get used to it dude.
topic image
Dallin Oaks Will Be The Ruin Of This Church
Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Lostandfound
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
This is a touchy issue. The LDS Church is what lawyers call a "deep pocket" and they will likely need protection from being sued.

There have been several instances where the Church has been in trouble for civil rights violations. The first I recall was the polagamy issue. The Federal Government was sending Marshalls to arrest and jail men who practiced this form of marriage.

The result was the 1890 Manifesto by President Willford Woodruff which ended the open practice of polygamy.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1890_Man...

Another case was the Church policy that black men could not hold the priesthood, marry in the temple or hold other church callings (except for boy scout leader). Their were threats by the Federal Government under President Jimmy Carter to pull the accreditation of BYU because of open and active discrimmination against black students and not admitting qualified black students who had applied to the university.

Some college football teams refused to play against BYU. This, coupled with the growing population of Black Mormons in Brazil ultimately led to a "revelation" by President Spencer W. Kimball which ended the policy of discrimmination against black males.

I would note that the Doctrine and Covenants states that those who are not married for time and all of eternity will be servants to those who are married in the next life.

Because blacks were not allowed to married for time and all eternity, it ensured that they would be servants in the eternities. There was a very strong element of slavery to the church's policy.

So, now we have the Civil Rights issue of the century - rights for gay and lesbian people. The LDS Church wants to maintain status quo:
  • No marriages for gay and lesbian members
  • No adoption services
  • No Church employment
  • No Temple admittance
  • No admittance to BYU or other church run schools
  • No trespassing on church-owned property (arrests of 2 gay men found on church property, and the church owns a lot of property)
  • No enforcement of ethical treatment for gay and lesbian patients who patronize LDS owned hospitals. (I once heard someone day that "gays are pretty much worthless and they should all be gased" right at LDS Hospital.)
  • No leasing, renting or selling of housing to gay or lesbian persons
  • No protections against hate crimes or hate speech if the person who is making the threats is doing so for "religion".
Elder Oaks, I'm sorry. If the Church keeps getting sued, it is probably not a "Freedom of Religion" issue. It is much more likely that we are actively and openly discrimminating against a specific group of people who have long endured our displeasure. Civil Laws will have to be crafted to protect these citizens.

I think that the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ would teach good citizenship and obedience to Civil Law. The rights of others would be respected and protected under the Constitution of the United States. Of course, the Church could grant or refuse marriage and other ordinances according to worthiness set by Church standards, and employ only those members who met church standards, but that would be the limit! The Church couldn't take BYU transcripts from students who had earned credits. The Church couldn't refuse medical services in Church owned hospitals. The Church couldn't actively and openly promote hostility, hate and discrimmination against gay and lesbian persons without being SUED. That isn't freedom of religion. That isn't freedom of speech. That isn't protected by our constitution.

Ultimately, I fear that Dallin Oaks will be the ruin of this Church. He is causing such bad PR for the Church and for Salt Lake City. He doesn't know how to work diplomatically with the gay and lesbian community and so he is resorting to demands for absolute legal protection under "freedom of religion". Won't work.
topic image
I Really Wish Someone Would Testify A Counter Argument To Congress
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011, at 09:19 AM
Original Author(s): Jesus Smith
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I really wish someone would testify a counter argument to Congress. Something akin to....

The NIH, one of many worldwide scientific institutes that promotes medical research, funds their National Cancer Institute (NCI) to the tune of $5B a year. http://www.aacr.org/home/public--medi...

Imagine if we were to double their budget...

Very well thought out estimates put LDSinc's annual tithing income in the range of $5-10B with $8B as a good figure. (simply take 1million families x median income x 10% and you'll agree.)

So what if the $8B tithing were diverted to cancer research? That would more than double the annual budget. What strides could science make with twice the money?

Science has shown huge returns on investment over the past century. Life expectancy has nearly doubled. Quality of life for the healthy is astronomically better in nearly every nation. Even the environment is making a come back.

What has LDSinc done to improve lives? They build buildings. They plan and construct malls, ranches, church indoctrination centers, and entertainment businesses. They get unpaid janitors. They've healed...no one, that science wasn't already healing. Ok, they've donated $328M over the past 25 years to helping humanitarian causes. ( http://beta-newsroom.lds.org/facts-and-stats ) That's roughly $1.00 per current listed member per year. One dollar.

LDSinc is hurting humanity, reaping a wind-fall of cash from unwitting believers and returning a dollar each back to society.

Parasites.
topic image
Mr. Oaks Goes To Washington
Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011, at 09:17 AM
Original Author(s): Elguapo
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Elder Oaks just testified before the Senate finance committee about the importance of tax exemption for charitable donations. You can see the transcript of his comments here: http://finance.senate.gov/imo/media/d...

I love how he introduced himself too: "I am Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." He even refers to himself with the silly title and middle initial. It all just sounds so self-important.

I didn't hear the whole proceeding, but it doesn't sound like religious organizations are being singled out in any way. None of the eleven options for tax reform even mention (so far as I could see) the possibility of revoking 501(c)(3) status for churches or any other entity. But Oaks was worried about it still, and mentioned it in his later comments.

The part of his testimony I thought interesting was this rationale for making churches tax exempt:
Today millions of these private “associations”–religious and charitable–are responsible for tens of millions of jobs and innumerable services that benefit our citizens at every level. I speak of private educational institutions, hospitals, social welfare agencies, and innumerable other organizations ministering to the needs of children, youth, the aged, the poor, and citizens generally. The financial well-being of this private sector is dependent upon private contributions that qualify for the charitable deduction. And the impact these private institutions have on those they serve is magnified by the millions of volunteers motivated by the ideals they pursue.

For example, in the aftermath of Katrina and the other 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aided the cleanup efforts with almost 3,000 tons of emergency supplies, over $13 million in cash and use of heavy equipment, and its members gave more than 42,000 man-days of service. Other non-profit organizations provided over $3.5 billion in cash and in-kind donations to help with relief efforts.
It seems to me that religion is riding on the coattails of the Red Cross and other truly charitable institutions here. I don't know how much tithing revenue the Mormon church receives each year in the U.S., but it must be in the billions. That means hundreds of millions annually in tax subsidies. And we're justifying that by saying we gave $13 million back? Are there any critical thinkers left in government?
topic image
Oaks Tells BYU Graduates: "You Have A Mark Upon You."
Friday, May 4, 2012, at 02:08 PM
Original Author(s): Fetal Deity
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
But, to a lot of non-Mormons out there (like potential employers and future colleagues), that isn't necessarily a positive. (Possible synonyms for "mark" could include: blemish, blot, blotch, pock, scar, smudge, splotch, spot, stain.)

More BYU Commencement gems:

"[Oaks recognized] the challenging times facing graduates – wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters, recession and the prospect of further financial disaster, values and standards being denied or cast aside as more people call evil good, and selfishness replacing service...." [In other words, the world is no different today than it was 4,500 years ago when a worldwide flood and dinosaurs threatened to extinguish humanity!]

"' ...BYU graduates and other Saints suffer worldly criticism and perhaps even persecution....'" [And since Mormons are untouched by imperfection, these criticisms and persecutions are simply proof of the wicked world's blind hatred towards them and that Mormons are right and everyone else is evil and wrong.]

"Elder Oaks told students to emulate Brigham Young's inclusive attitude toward his fellowmen." [In this sense, the meaning of the word "inclusive" would be better expressed as "non-inclusive."]

Quoting Brigham Young: "'"Our religion is adapted to the capacity of the whole human family. It does not send a portion of the people to howl in torment for ever and ever ...."'" [Unless you have the audacity to question, abandon and then speak against Mormonism!]

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles...
topic image
Dallin Oaks On Why A Federal Marriage Amendment Is A Bad Idea
Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012, at 02:00 PM
Original Author(s): Mujun
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Last week, Senator Orrin Hatch broke ranks with a couple of tribes to which he belongs and said in an interview that he believes laws governing marriage should be left in the hands of the states. While I disagree with him in terms of what he thinks those laws should ultimately be, I respect and applaud his statement that the federal government should not be dictating such things to the states, especially in the form of a constitutional amendment.

The Senator was only following The Brethren, ... that is to say he was following what they had said up until 2004 when the church came out and stated its endorsement of a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Up until that point, the church had been talking out of the other side of its mouth.

In a 1992 Ensign article, Constitutional scholar, former law professor, former Utah Supreme Court Justice and (since 1984) LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks explained that one of the key, inspired points of the US Constitution was the balance of powers between the federal government and the states.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1992/02/the...

If you scroll down to the heading "Inspiration," then look at the last paragraph of Item 3, you will read:
"The particular powers that are reserved to the states are part of the inspiration. For example, the power to make laws on personal relationships is reserved to the states. Thus, laws of marriage and family rights and duties are state laws. This would have been changed by the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.). When the First Presidency opposed the E.R.A., they cited the way it would have changed various legal rules having to do with the family, a result they characterized as "a moral rather than a legal issue." I would add my belief that the most fundamental legal and political objection to the proposed E.R.A. was that it would effect a significant reallocation of law-making power from the states to the federal government."
Of course, Oaks was just restating an argument that the church had already asserted in the March 1980 Ensign when it gave various, detailed arguments against the proposed Equal Rights Amendment.

http://www.lds.org/ensign/1980/03/the...
"14. Would the ERA further erode the constitutional division of powers? It would transfer from states to the federal government much of the power to deal with domestic relations, and further shift much law-making authority from locally elected legislators to nonelected federal judges."
I've raised this point with some of the faithful. The obvious contradiction and hypocrisy don't register. The few who were willing to listen responded with something along the lines of "Well, they couldn't foresee at that time what kind of threat would emerge with all of these evil gay people wanting to have committed relationships and equal rights."

Fifteen men sustained as prophets, seers and revelators and none of them saw marriage equality coming as an issue just a decade or so in advance?
topic image
Dallin Oaks: "Disadvantages For Children Raised By Couples Of The Same Gender"
Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012, at 09:34 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Mormon leaders once again attack gays and lesbians.

Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, took on a number of hot-button issues in a speech centered around the need to protect vulnerable children. He condemned abuse and neglect and called abortion "a great evil." He urged parents and caregivers to respond to children who struggle, including with same-sex attraction, with "loving understanding, not bullying or ostracism."

He also cautioned that it should be assumed that kids raised by same-sex couples or unwed mothers will be at a disadvantage.

"Children are also victimized by marriages that do not occur," Oaks said.

Evidence, he added, indicates that children are at a "significant disadvantage" when raised by single or unmarried parents. "We should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender."

How sad that the LDS leadership must continually find ways to attack gay and lesbian families and individuals. More enlightened leaders understand that these are loving parents who provide wonderful, safe, secure homes for many, many children in need of love and stability.

Additionally, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of parents in America are gay with children from a previous marriage, adoption or various methods. The vast majority know that many in society, like the LDS leadership, are hyper critical of their parenting and therefore strive to be the most competent parents possible.

If these children are "disadvantaged" it is only because of the actions and attitudes of individuals, leaders and organizations who have treated these families and less than other families in America. Many of the 1,000+ government benefits of "civil marriage" would help these families and their children.

It's time we start supporting each other in America and stop attacking and dividing. Love is what these children and their parents need. Not derision and discrimination.
topic image
Did Oaks "Lie For The Lord" During Conference?
Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012, at 11:58 AM
Original Author(s): Sock Puppet
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
From http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/...
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the church, spoke about family, the value of life, and the importance of loving everyone - all worthy subjects. He also spoke about bullying and the "permanent" psychological damage that bullying can cause children by making them feel "worthless, unloved, or unwanted."

Then, in what seemed an about-face, Oaks changed themes. After describing a long list of supposed social ills, he said that church members should "assume" that "children raised by parents of the same gender" are "disadvantaged" and "victimized" by this circumstance. He did not bother to properly support his claim, apart from vague references to an unnamed "scholar" or a supposed "New York Times article."
I agree with Oaks. Children raised by same gender parents will be disadvantaged, even victimized, by the societal attitude fostered by the LDS Church against same gender couples and parents. What's the solution, then, Oaks? Maybe the LDS Church could do a 180 and become an agent for helping to foster the enlightenment going on in the attitudes towards homosexuality. Tolerance and acceptance? Shouldn't those be some of the Christian virtues that the LDS Church embraces and promotes?

Homosexuality has occurred in mankind for as long as there has been a recorded history. It occurs in other sexual species. The closed-mindedness that encourages and teaches intolerance of it is crumbling.

As with the ban on the priesthood being extended to blacks, the general population's morality has outdistanced LDS thinking regarding homosexuality considerably. I suspect before 2020 a 'revelation'. The excoriation of homosexuals will then be recharacterized by Mopologists as the 'talking as men' that dates back all the way to the OT. But Pres News Room will take the vague dive--'we don't know why god kept religious inclusion and privileges from homosexuals previously, but that is now in the past.'
topic image
Unholy Oaks' Smoke! What The Mormon Church Knew And When It Knew It: Murdering The Truth In The Mark Hofmann Bombing Case
Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon Church did its double-damndest to obstruct justice and prevent law enforcement investigators from doing their job in following the trail on the Mark Hofmann scandal--a trail that led embarrassingly back to the LDS Church itself.

In a private meeting with Mormon apostle Dallin Oaks in 1985 shortly after the Hofmann bombings (followed by a second conversation with Oaks and, finally, in discussions with both Oaks and fellow apostle Neal Maxwell), I learned from Oaks just how committed the Mormon Church was to not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help it Elohim. This evasive approach impeded both law enforcement authorities, LDS Church members and the public at large in any genuine effort they were attempting to get at the truth.

--Overview of the Mormon Church Cover-up on the Hofmann Bombings

The fact that is clear, however, is that the Mormon Church--in private admissions by its own leaders--deliberately blocked examination by law enforcement investigators of evidence in possession of the LDS Church that could have potentially aided in getting to the bottom of the Hofmann case and could have helped bring to light important matters in a much more expeditious fashion.

Unfortunately, the Mormon Church was more interested in doing what was necessary to cover its backside, rather than assisting when it was necessary in uncovering the truth.

--A Flubbed Opportunity for High Mormon Leaders to Come Clean on the Hofmann Case

In meeting with Oaks and Maxwell, I provided them a prepared list of written questions (requeested by Maxwell) that I wanted and expected them to answer honestly (silly me). One of those questions was: "why [is] the Church . . . not more open with its own historical documents, specifically as relating to the refusal of the Church to acknowledge the existence of, or share with, law enforcement authorities the McLellin papers during the Hofmann investigation."

Note: By way of background on that question, William E. McLellin was, as described by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith in their book, 'The Mormon Murders,' 'an early Apostle and close associate of Joseph Smith's who left the Church in 1836 to become one of its bitterest enemies. It had long been rumored,' wrote Naifeh and Smith, 'that McLellin, who kept the minutes at early meetings of the Twelve, had taken with him a pirate's chest full of papers, letters and journals, all of it incriminating, with which to destroy the Church. Over the years, tantalizing clues had turned up. But neither the Collection itself, nor any part of it, had ever surfaced.' (p. 164)

This collection, contrary to Mark Hofmann's claims, was eventually determined not to exist.

However, the Church did have in its possession certain McLellin papers, as admitted by Richard E. Turley, Jr., in his Oaks-sanctioned book, 'Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case' (p. 303). It was these papers that were the subject of my conversation with Oaks and Maxwell.

--Oaks' Clean Desk, Sealed Lips and Lame Excuses

In the fall of 1985, a few days after the Hofmann bombings, I accompanied a reporter from 'The Arizona Republic,' Chuck Kelly, to Salt Lake City to assist him in making contacts for covering the story.

While in Utah, we attempted to get an audience with Oaks. He refused to grant a newspaper interview but did agree to meet with me in his office. I rememberhow starkly clean the top of Oaks' desk was. In fact, there was nothing on it at all, except for a single newspaper article, the subject of which [Benson] could not read, since from where [he] sat, it was upside down. During our brief chat, Oaks was very cryptic in his comments, saying nothing of substance about the Hofmann scandal.

A few years later (after Hofmann had been bundled off to prison and prior to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in 1993), I again visited with Oaks in Salt Lake City. This time he was somewhat more willing to talk about the Hofmann affair--specifically, why the Church had not, even in the face of a law enforcement subpoena, produced the McLellin papers, which it had in its possession. The reasons, Oaks said, were two-fold:

First, the Church had privately determined that the McLellin papers it possessed were not relevant to the police investigation.

Second, there were no Church leaders available at the time to work with the police on the McLellin paper caper, because the Church personnel authorized to do so were all on vacation.

Fast forward to my meeting with Oaks and Maxwell in September 1993.

Oaks told me that the Mormon Church had discovered in mid-March of 1986 that it possessed some McLellin papers--and so publicly announced. Maxwell concurred, adding that the McLellin papers had been 'stuffed away somewhere' and the Church did not realize it had them.

Oaks said that the McLellin papers held by the Church had been originally purchased by a representative sent by then-President Joseph F. Smith to Texas who, under orders to make sure they did not fall into "the wrong hands," acquired them for $50.00.

Oaks said McLellin (who became disaffected from the Church and eventually left it), had ransacked Joseph Smith's home while Smith was incarcerated and taken several of Smith's belongings. Oaks said the Church was concerned the papers McLellin had purloined would turn out to be very negative and reflect poorly on the Church. In sympathy with the Church's decision to buy these McLellin papers back, Oaks noted that President Joseph F. Smith's father, Hyrum, had been murdered by a mob and was thus naturally very sensitive to the potential negative contents of the papers.

Oaks told me that when it came to the Church's attention that it did, in fact, have McLellin papers in its possession, the discovery process was already underway, preliminary trial motions were ongoing and Hofmann was destined to plea-bargain in July.

Oaks said the Quorum of the Twelve debated when they should bring the McLellin papers forward. He said that if the Church had at that time revealed it was in possession of McLellin's papers, the press would have made "a big brouhaha about it."

Besides, he said, the McLellin papers the Church had were of no relevance to trial evidence being requested by the police (although Oaks admitted that no one in the Quorum had read them at the time or knew what was in them).

Oaks further defended the Church's refusal to provide its McLellin papers to law enforcement investigators on the grounds that the subpoena only requested McLellin documents that Hofmann, not the Church, was said to have possessed.

He said that the whole question of this portion of the investigation centered on whether Hofmann even had the McLellin papers. Oaks said that the Church made a conscious decision not to bring forward the McLellin papers during the preliminaries. He said the Church decided it would wait until those proceedings were over, then produce them before trial. That option was negated, he said, when Hofmann plea-bargained in July.

Oaks also argued that the Church only had between May and August of that year as the available interval in which to get the McLellin papers out. Since everyone was on vacation in August, he said, there was no one to make decisions during that time frame.

At any rate, he maintained, that interval was too narrow, so the Church decided to wait until Turley's book, 'Victims,' was published in 1992. Oaks said the book explained the proper context, the role of the Church and the facts on the ground regarding the McLellin papers. Following its publication, Oaks said the Church decided to release the McLellin documents it had in its possession.

Oaks claimed that at the time the Church brought them out, it realized (apparently, he suggested, for the first time) that they spoke positively and glowingly of the Church. He said they were written by McLellin in his earlier missionary years of Church service.

The consciences of Mormon Church leaders (if such consciences even exist) must be heavily burdened with guilt, knowing how much they are deceiving the public, the press and the pews through their misleading and misdirecting claims.

Once in awhile, however, they blurt out things in private that are probably weighing on their chests and which they feel they need to get out.

The trouble is, it then does get out--into the larger world, that is, and exposes them as deceptive brokers doing the dishonest bidding of their Mormon Cult.
topic image
Dallin Oaks' Unsuccessful Rewrite Of The Actual Mormon Church Teaching And Practice Of "Celestialized" Plural Marriage
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, at 07:58 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Talk about the unconscionable rewriting by Dallin H. "Hoax" of Mormon Church history for expediency's sake, this one really takes the Cult cake:

"[According to Mormon apostle Dallin H. Oaks], [t]he ancient order of marriage is the divinely sanctioned union, recognized by the state, between one man and one woman[.] [Quoting fellow LDS apostle M. Russell Ballard from a speech Ballard delivered in 2008 at Brigham Young University, Oaks declared]: 'We follow Jesus Christ by adhering to God's law of marriage, which is marriage between one man and one woman. This commandment has been in place from the very beginning.' . . . [see Oaks, 'Religious Freedom,' in 'Newsroom: The Official (Mormon) Church Resource for News Media, Opinion Leaders, and the Public,' transcript of Oaks' speech at BYU-Idaho, Rexbury, 13 October 2009)

Now, for the inconvenient caveats:

"EXCEPT, if you are the Patriarch Abraham, in which case you can be married to Sarah (who might be your half-sister), and to Sarah's slave girl, Hagar. The ancient order of marriage is pretty liberal when it comes to marrying siblings, cousins and slaves.

"EXCEPT, if you are Kind David or King Solomon, in which case you might have as many as 300 wives and 300 additional concubines, and copulating with and siring children by slaves was perfectly acceptible, both in the eyes of your citizens, and in the eyes of God, who sanctioned the practice.

"EXCEPT, if you are Jesus, and married to both Mary Magdalene and Elizabeth (and likely others) ([a] [t]eaching unique to early Mormon apostles, most notably Jedediah Grant, Orson Hyde, and Brigham Young).

"EXCEPT, if you are Joseph Smith, in which case you can secretly practice polygamy to girls as young as 14, and also be married to women who are already married to other men. The ancient order of marriage demands, however, that you don't tell your first wife about all the others, because it makes her really mad. For that matter, it's best not to tell ANYONE except your good buddies, because then they might think twice about your apostolic calling.

"EXCEPT, if you are Brigham Young, in which case you can have as many as 55 wives married to you in this life, and untold numbers sealed to you in the life hereafter. It is also perfectly acceptable to divorce them if they don't take care of themselves, or expect you to take care of them.

"EXCEPT, if you are John Taylor, Lorenzo Snow, Wilford Woodruff, George Cannon, Heber Kimball, and on and on and on, in which case you can obtain a new wife every time your last wife gets worn out.

"EXCEPT, if your wife died, and you're an LDS apostle, you can be sealed to another, much younger woman, so you'll get both of 'em in the eternities. (Dallin Oaks married June Dixon in 1952, who passed away in 1998. In 2000, he married Kristen McMain, both of whom are sealed to him for time and all eternity--contrary to the 'ancient order of marriage').

"But other than THAT, the Mormons are absolutely correct in defending the 'ancient order of marriage.'"

"Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage," by "peter_mary," 16 October 2009, original emphasis)
topic image
Elder Oaks Takes A Swat At Those Whose Names Were Removed, Other Interesting Tidbits From 2013 Midwest Area Conference
Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013, at 07:33 AM
Original Author(s): Anon For This
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
Some of you may recall the infamous Easter 2009 post I shared in which Elder Oak told members in IA, IL, MO, MN, KS, ND, and SD that the church would not help members in need during the economic downturn. See http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_da...

Well, four years later, Elder Oaks was back, thus time going after those who complained that the church was not providing their needs. No joke. Yesterday was the Midwest area conference 2013. This time they learned from past mistakes and scheduled this broadcast a month before Easter so the lack of emphasis on Jesus wasn't quite so startling as it was on Easter of 2009.

Elder Oaks started off by referring to a letter from someone who had requested their name be removed from the records of the church. This person had written that they were leaving because the church didn't seem to care about them and was not providing for their needs. Elder Oaks then compared this person to one of five thousand that Jesus fed, many of whom stopped following Jesus after he stopped providing food, citing a scripture from the New Testament to show that the church is there to provide for our eternal needs. Elder Oaks basically suggested that people should stop their complaining and realize that the church serves up eternal blessings. The church is not necessarily there for our present needs.

This oversimplification and apparent demonization of those who have left the church was a piling on after Sister Reeves, 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency, told members that she had read a study that proved statistically that the primary reason return missionaries left the church was due to immorality and failure to read their scriptures on a daily basis. LOL. This same sister also admitted that she did not have a bad thought come into her head until about fifteen years ago, when she briefly entertained dirty thoughts at a grocery checkout line after seeing other women pick up sleazy magazines in the line and added them with to their groceries.
topic image
You Can't Listen To A Prophet Who Buys False Documents
Monday, Aug 19, 2013, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Jod3:360
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
In any case, it is interesting to note that on August 16, 1985, the Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks tried to ease the fears of Mormon educators with regard to the Salamander letter by claiming that the words "white salamander" could be reconciled with Joseph Smith's statement about the appearance of the Angel Moroni:

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/track...

"Another source of differences in the accounts of different witnesses is the different meanings that different persons attach to words. We have a vivid illustration of this in the recent media excitement about the word 'salamander' in a letter Martin Harris is supposed to have sent to W.W. Phelps over 150 years ago. All of the scores of media stories on that subject apparently assume that the author of that letter used the word 'salamander' in the modern sense of a 'tailed amphibian.'

"One wonders why so many writers neglected to reveal to their readers that there is another meaning of 'salamander,' which may even have been the primary meaning in this context in the 1820s.... That meaning... is 'a mythical being thought to be able to live in fire.'...

"A being that is able to live in fire is a good approximation of the description Joseph Smith gave of the Angel Moroni:... the use of the words white salamander and old spirit seem understandable.

"In view of all this, and as a matter of intellectual evaluation, why all the excitement in the media, and why the apparent hand-wringing among those who profess friendship or membership in the Church?" ("1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium," pages 22-23)

Dallin Oaks' conjecture concerning the real meaning of the word "salamander" certainly shows the lengths Mormon apologists will go to try and explain away anything that challenges Mormonism. Oaks would have us believe that the news media suppressed the true meaning of the word. Actually, the news media were claiming that the context of the letter showed that the "salamander" mentioned there referred to one of the "elemental spirits" of magic.

The confession of Mark Hofmann makes it clear that Oaks was way off base and that the news media were right all along. The reader will remember that when he was speaking of the word "salamander," Hofmann said: "At the time I chose it only because it was commonly used in folk magic. I didn't realize until later all the implications other people would associate with it as far as being able to dwell in fire." (Hofmann's Confession, page 441)
topic image
Dallin H. Oaks And The Polygamy Elephant In The Room
Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013, at 09:20 AM
Original Author(s): Aristotle Smith
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I watched Oaks' talk on gay marriage last night and it left me scratching my head. He's an intelligent guy but he just can't seem to see the elephant in the room when he talks about gay marriage, namely the 60 year involvement of the LDS church with polygamy. Here are some of the things he said that made me say to myself, "Really?"

Use of the 12th article of faith. He used this to show that the LDS church is law abiding, but won't be performing any gay marriages even though it is now legal in many jurisdictions. But the LDS church has a history of violating the law and it's own public declarations with respect to marriage. For 60 years the LDS church engaged in thousands of polygamous marriages, none of which was ever legal. Even after they promised to stop, they kept doing it in secret, now not only violating the law but their own word on the subject.

Declaration that God's laws cannot be influenced by nor abrogated by man's laws. Really? If so, why stop polygamy Elder Oaks? It's simply a historical fact that both manifestos (the fake 1890 one and the "We mean it this time" 1904 one) were made in response to political and legal pressure. If man's laws don't affect God's laws, why stop polygamy? The old saw that it would have been ruinous financially to the LDS church simply doesn't hold water if man's laws don't affect God's laws. Plus, I seem to remember a guy named Jesus saying something about not being able to serve God and mammon (money) at the same time.

Continued insistence that marriage between a man and a woman is an eternal principle The only way this can be true, given the LDS practice of polygamy, is based on a hyper technical parsing of "a man and a woman" to mean "a man and a woman, and the same man and another woman, and the same man and another woman..." If you really are fighting for eternal principles, shouldn't you be fighting for monogamous marriage AND polygyny? Or if you want to make room for the practices of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young shouldn't you be fighting for monogamous marriage, polygyny, and polyandry?

Invocation of the example of handcart pioneers as examples for fighting the tide of gay marriage Really Elder Oaks? You can't see the palpable irony of invoking as an example of fighting alternative marital lifestyles people who...well...were moving the Utah in support of alternative (and illegal) marital lifestyles?

Citing lower birth rates as a consequence of alternative marital lifestyles I'm not as positive on this one, but I've seen anecdotal evidence that polygamous women were less fertile than were monogamous women living in Utah. If the idea is to have as many babies as possible, shouldn't any marital arrangement that results in less babies on average also be condemned? But then you would have to condemn polygamy along with the prophets who supported it.

I could go on but you get the picture.

It's like a porn star who after her career is over proclaims that she fully supports heterosexual monogamy and always has. It just doesn't sell well. Now said porn star actually could make a persuasive case for heterosexual monogamy if she said something like, "I used to engage in lots of sexual behavior with lots of partners. As a result I was depressed, got hooked on drugs, and got the clap. Now, I've cleaned my life up and heterosexual monogamy is a big part of what makes me happy and my life stable. Because of this I enthusiastically support heterosexual monogamy."

Dallin H. Oaks could make a much more honest case for supporting only heterosexual marriage if he said something like:
For around 60 years members of the LDS church engaged in an alternative marital lifestyle that in hindsight was a big mistake. It resulted in a lower birth rate amongst those who practiced it. It lead to higher poverty levels and de facto single parenthood for the majority of women who faithfully entered polygamous marriages. It reduced the time men could spend with their children and made them baby-daddies instead of fathers. In hindsight we should never have engaged in this practice. Because of this experience we now enthusiastically support only monogamous heterosexual marriage, history has taught us that it is the best organization for families.
topic image
My Oaks Rant - "So-Called Same-Gender Marriage"
Wednesday, Oct 9, 2013, at 09:03 AM
Original Author(s): Xyandro
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
I am beyond annoyed that a man sustained as a "prophet, seer, and revelator" in the Mormon church felt the necessity to take an international stage and denigrate the marriages of others.

On Sunday, Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Mormon Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, referred to "so-called same-gender marriage". There is nothing "so-called" about same-gender marriage. As a former attorney and Utah Supreme Court justice, Oaks should well know that marriage is a LEGAL institution, not a religious one. The authority to marry people is granted to his church by the state. (In my state, Utah Code Title 30 Chapter 1 Section 6.) In localities where his church lacks the legal authority to marry, such as Germany, members are required to legally marry before performing the standard religious solemnization rituals. Therefore, same-gender marriages performed with the proper legal authority are as legally valid as Oak's own marriage.

It seems strange for a Mormon to criticize marriages he considers "non-traditional", considering that Mormons were polygamous. The original doctrine of his church stated that "Celestial Marriage" was required to reach the highest level of happiness, and those married to only one wife would not achieve it. This is still found in Mormon scripture (DandC 132). Oaks himself is "sealed" to two women, and according to Mormon doctrine he will live with both for eternity.

Oaks asserts that his church's "12th article of faith states our belief in being subject to civil authority and in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." However, consider what happened when US law conflicted with their position. Early Mormon leaders considered polygamy an eternal principle, far more important than the law of the land. Thus, when congress passed the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act of 1862 (upheld by the Supreme Court in 1879), polygamy continued. The Edmunds Act of 1882 made polygamy a felony, yet still it continued. It came to a head when congress passed the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 to punish the violations, disincorporating the church and seizing its assets. The law was upheld by the Supreme Court on May 19, 1890, and proved disastrous for the Mormons. So on October 6, 1890 (140 days later), they issued an official "Manifesto" disavowing polygamy, yet continued to secretly practice it. Due to rising political pressure, in 1904 a "Second Manifesto" was issued, even more officially disavowingpolygamy and threatening those who continued with excommunication. Even then, support for polygamy continued so strong that Apostles John W. Taylor and Matthias F. Cowley were expelled from the Quorum of the Twelve over the issue, with Taylor being excommunicated. You might therefore assume Mormons might have some sympathy for those whose marriage ideals diverge from the "norm," but instead they hold their own doctrine as superior to law.

So, what do they do, since they're convinced they know what's best for others? Ignore people's "God-given free agency" to try to force them.

When it comes to gay people, the Mormon church has repeatedly thrust aside its 11th article of faith, which claims "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege; let them worship how, where, or what they may." They have been involved in numerous legislative anti-gay-marriage campaigns, including the passage of California's Prop 8 among others. Even after the US Supreme Court told the faith-based coalition defending Prop 8 that they had no standing (meaning: THIS DOESN'T AFFECT YOU), they've continued to try to legislate their religious beliefs onto others. As recently as September, a stake-wide letter in Hawaii encouraged members to "contact your elected representatives ... to express your views." Views which should, of course, be consistent with the anti-gay document, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World". Oaks justifies this with "the importance we attach to the law of chastity." Mr. Oaks, if you are so concernedabout this, why are your legislative efforts focused only on gay people? Why is there no legislative campaign to prevent people from living together before marriage or producing children out of wedlock, both of which are equally serious in your doctrine?

Oaks also claims that "unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable." Yet consider various Mormon policies that have changed over the years:
  • Polygamy is required to gain the highest level of exaltation (Brigham Young: "If you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained.")
  • Polygamy is punished with excommunication (Joseph F. Smith: "All such marriages are prohibited ... and will be liable to be dealt with according to the rules and regulations thereof and excommunicated therefrom")
  • Blood atonement is necessary for certain sins (Brigham Young: "I have seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance (in the last resurrection there will be) if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty...")
  • Blood atonement is evil (Wilford Woodruff: "this church views the shedding of human blood with the utmost abhorrence")
  • The Word of Wisdom is a suggestion (DandC 89: "not by commandment or constraint")
  • The Word of Wisdom is a commandment (Heber J. Grant: "the Word of Wisdom became a law unto the people, and they were required to obey it")
  • Interracial marriage is sinful (Brigham Young: "If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.")
  • Interracial marriage is tolerable (Spencer Kimball: "Now, the brethren feel that it is not the wisest thing to cross racial lines in dating and marrying. There is no condemnation. We have had some of our fine young people who have crossed the lines. We hope they will be very happy, but experience of the brethren through a hundred years has proved to us that marriage is a very difficult thing under any circumstances and the difficulty increases in interrace marriages.")
  • Blacks can have the priesthood (Joseph Smith ordained Elijah Abel in 1832)
  • Blacks can't have the priesthood (Brigham Young: "Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane (Cain) in him Cannot hold the priesthood ... I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ")
  • Blacks can have the priesthood again (Spencer Kimball: "all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color")
  • Oral sex is wrong (Spencer W. Kimball: "The First Presidency has interpreted oral sex as constituting an unnatural, impure, or unholy practice")
  • Sex is none of anyone's business (No specific quote, just a general policy change)
  • Gays can become straight (Boyd K. Packer: "It is not unchangeable. It is not locked in. One does not just have to yield to it and live with it. Test it against moral law and you learn something very quickly. If a condition that draws men and women into one of the ugliest and most debased of all physical performances is set and cannot be overcome, it would be a glaring exception to all moral law. If that were so (and it is not), it would stand out as a strange and peculiar exception, one that can be applied to none other of the kinds of mischief that relate to the power of procreation. Such a thing is totally inconsistent.")
  • Gays can't necessarily become straight (Hinkley: "others may not be free of this challenge in this life")
  • Being gay is caused by selfishness (Boyd K. Packer: "Have you explored the possibility that the cause, when found, will turn out to be a very typical form of selfishness -- selfishness in a very subtle form?")
  • Gays don't choose to be that way (mormonsandgays.com: "The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.")
  • 1930: Temple ceremonies changed to remove "Oath of Vengeance" against the US for the death of Joseph Smith
  • 1990: Temple ceremonies changed to remove penalties and "Five Points of Fellowship"
  • 2005: Temple ceremonies changed to remove touching during washing and anointing
Many of these changes are reversals of previous positions. So, to any believing Latter Day Saint involved in legislative efforts, I ask: what would it take for current church policies to change? The answer is a single statement from the president of the church. So why can't you stop judging and just let your neighbors be?

And lastly, to those who will ask me, "Since you're not Mormon any more, why don't you just leave the church alone?" I answer, "Because the Mormon church doesn't leave ME alone." They have gotten legislation passed that directly interferes with my rights. They have visited my house. They have 80,000 missionaries throughout the world. They encourage members to try to intercede with those who have left and no longer believe. They are teaching my children that I am a bad father because I don't believe in God or hold the Mormon priesthood. They are teaching my children that I am not "worthy" (as if their church has ANY right to decide that for a non-believer), and to seek elsewhere for support and encouragement. They're white-washing the history they teach my kids, omitting previous positions that were dramatically different and today might be considered offensive. The repercussions are reverberating through my life. If you want people to leave YOU alone, you have to leave THEM alone.
topic image
Dallin Oaks, A Conflicted Man: His Public Vs. Private Views On The BOM
Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: DALLIN H. OAKS   -Link To MC Article-
--Mormon "apostle for the Lord," Dallin H. Oaks, says one thing in the open venue--and another in the backroom office.

--He talks a good game for the faithful--but hints of doubt when he's off camera.

--He testifies from the pulpit of Mormon "truth"--but behind closed doors comes across as less than "a special witness for Christ."

--He defends the Book of Mormon before apologist crowds--but when out of the spotlight isn't its exactly a gung-ho cheerleader.

--He plays, when called upon, the role of an upfront believer--but his backstage performance paints him as more of a two-faced deceiver.

How does an Mormon apologetic apostle like Oaks regard not only the Book of Mormon, but also the water-carrying puppet organizations for the LDS Church whose mission it is to the Mormon minions to promote the Book of Mormon so strenuously?

For help on that inquiry, let's look at Oaks' telling flip-flops. It's telling to see what high Mormon Church leaders such as he believe and speak about their faith behind the curtain--as opposed to what they proclaim in front of the microphone.

When it comes to his "testimony" of the Book of Mormon, let's look at what Oaks really thinks about its so called "historicity." I would suggest that it speaks to his duplicity.

On 9 September 1993, in an off-stage meeting with Oaks and fellow Apostle Neal A. Maxwell in Maxwell's Salt Lake City Church office, Oaks offered his personal observations and assessments about Mormonism's premier piece of canonized scripture.

Approximately six weeks after having met with Oaks and Maxwell--on 29 October 1993--Oaks then spoke publicly on the Book of Mormon, in a sermon entitled, "The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," which was delivered at the annual dinner for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in Provo, Utah.

(The text of Oaks' banquet remarks is available here: Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "THE HISTORICITY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON," Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Annual Dinner, Provo, Utah, October 29, 1993, http://www.boap.org/LDS/Oaks-on-BoM-critics; and Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "The Historicity of the Book of Mormon," at: http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/response/bom/Oaks_Historicity.htm)

What follows is a compare-and-contrast examination of what Oaks said in that earlier private meeting in the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City about the Book of Mormon, as compared to what he publicly told the FARMS audience a few weeks later at their banquet in Provo.

This examination will also provide some inside information about what Oaks actually thinks of both the Book of Mormon and FARMS. Note the similarities and, more importantly, the differences between Oaks' privately- and publicly-expressed views on these matters.

HISTORICTY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON AND EVIDENCE OF PLAGIARISM

**Oaks Behind Closed Doors:

In the privacy of Maxwell's office, Oaks was shown striking parallels between a cross-referenced, color-coded copy of the Book of Mormon and the text for the "Spalding Manuscript:" B.H. Roberts' study of parallels between Ethan Smith's "View of the Hebrews;" the King James text of the Book of Isaiah; and the King James text of the New Testament--with particular emphasis being placed on the Book of Mormon timeline from 600 BC to 1 BC, when the words of the New Testament had not yet been written.

Further, Oaks was shown 17 parallels between the lives of the Book of Mormon prophet Alma and the New Testament apostle Paul. Note was made of the wording in Alma's letters that is found in exactly the same language in Paul's New Testament story.

Oaks' reply:

"Well, you know, as you've thumbed through your book, it only appears to me that 5% of your book has been marked, so I would say don't throw out the 95% because of the 5%. Don't take the 5% that you have serious questions about and cast out the 95% that is unexplained or divinely inspired."

Oaks continued:

"It's like being married to our wives. I'm sure there's more than 5% of me that my wife finds disagreement with, but she puts up with it anyway. It's kind of like being married to the Book of Mormon. Don't let your doubts keep you out of the mainstream."

Oaks' attention was also drawn to Moroni 10, which speaks of gifts of the spirit (to one is given one gift; to someone else is given another, etc). Verse by verse--comparing Moroni 10 to First Corinthians 12--the texts were shown to be almost exactly the same.

Oaks' reply:

"Well, it's not word-for-word and it's not the whole chapter."

Oaks was reminded that except for some minor variations--such as the oft-repeated phrase, "and again"--it was, for all intents and purposes, word-for-word.

When asked to explain how Moroni used the same language found in the King James version of the Bible, written hundreds of years after the Book of Mormon was recorded, Oaks replied that he himself had had the same question while preparing a talk on gifts of the spirit, as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, the Book of Mormon and the New Testament.

Oaks said he concluded that all three authors were "impressed by the Holy Ghost" to record their thoughts "in this particular manner and in these particular words."

**Oaks in his FARMS Banquet Speech:

"In these remarks I will seek to use rational argument, but I will not rely on any proofs. I will approach the question of the historicity of the Book of Mormon from the standpoint of faith and revelation. I maintain that the issue of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is basically a difference between those who rely exclusively on scholarship and those who rely on a combination of scholarship, faith, and revelation.

"Those who rely exclusively on scholarship reject revelation and fulfill Nephi's prophecy that in the last days men 'shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance' (2 Ne. 28:4). The practitioners of that approach typically focus on a limited number of issues, like geography or 'horses' or angelic delivery or nineteenth century language patterns. They ignore or gloss over the incredible complexity of the Book of Mormon record. Those who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation are willing to look at the entire spectrum of issues, content as well as vocabulary, revelation as well as excavation."

BOOK OF MORMON DOCTRINES THAT ARE NOT SUPPOSEDLY THE PRODUCT OF PLAGIARISM, BUT OF DIVINE REVELATION

**Oaks Behind Closed Doors:

In private, Oaks offered the following counsel:

"You ought to go through the Book of Mormon and color in all the differences and emphasize the unique and special teachings of the Book of Mormon that don't have any similarities to other sources." (The point, however, was not highlight differences between the Book of Mormon and other texts but, rather, to get answers regarding their similarities and/or identicalness in areas of story lines, wording, etc).

**Oaks in his FARMS Banquet Speech:

"Scholarship and physical proofs are worldly values. I understand their value, and I have had some experience in using them. Such techniques speak to many after the manner of their understanding. But there are other methods and values, too, and we must not be so committed to scholarship that we close our eyes and ears and hearts to what cannot be demonstrated by scholarship or defended according to physical proofs and intellectual reasoning. . . .

"I admire those scholars for whom scholarship does not exclude faith and revelation. It is part of my faith and experience that the Creator expects us to use the powers of reasoning he has placed within us, and that he also expects us to exercise our divine gift of faith and to cultivate our capacity to be taught by divine revelation. But these things do not come without seeking. Those who utilize scholarship and disparage faith and revelation should ponder the Savior's question: 'How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?' (John 5:44)."

GOD HAS NOT YET PROVIDED FINAL PROOFS AS TO THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON

**Oaks Behind Closed Doors:

When asked how to deal with the above noted anomalies found in the Book of Mormon, Oaks replied that the jury was still out.

**Oaks in his FARMS Banquet Speech:

"Another way of explaining the strength of the positive position on the historicity of the Book of Mormon is to point out that we who are its proponents are content with a standoff on this question.

"Honest investigators will conclude that there are so many evidences that the Book of Mormon is an ancient text that they cannot confidently resolve the question against its authenticity, despite some unanswered questions that seem to support the negative determination.

"In that circumstance, the proponents of the Book of Mormon can settle for a draw or a hung jury on the question of historicity and take a continuance until the controversy can be retried in another forum."

THE WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE FOR AND AGAINST THE BOOK OF MORMON

**Oaks Behind Closed Doors:

In his ultimate assessment of evidentiary proof concerning the Book of Mormon, Oaks admitted that the arguments for and against the book were "equal," with neither side being able to prove whether the Book of Mormon was true or untrue. In the ultimate analysis, he said, the Book of Mormon had to be accepted on faith.

Oaks reiterated that there was no evidence proving or disproving the Book of Mormon.

He placed his hand over his heart and said, "I get this knot, this warm feeling right here, and that is what I go on." Oaks said that he had a conviction that the Book of Mormon was "true."

He said that feeling of truthfulness came from a "personal witness."

**Oaks in his FARMS Banquet Speech:

". . . [I]t is our position that secular evidence can neither prove nor disprove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Its authenticity depends, as it says, on a witness of the Holy Spirit. Our side will settle for a draw, but those who deny the historicity of the Book of Mormon cannot settle for a draw. They must try to disprove its historicity--or they seem to feel a necessity to do this--and in this they are unsuccessful because even the secular evidence, viewed in its entirety, is too complex for that. . . .

"Speaking for a moment as one whose profession is advocacy, I suggest that if one is willing to acknowledge the importance of faith and the reality of a realm beyond human understanding, the case for the Book of Mormon is the stronger case to argue. The case against the historicity of the Book of Mormon has to prove a negative. You don't prove a negative by prevailing on one debater's point or by establishing some subsidiary arguments."

FARMS' EFFORTS TO EMPIRICALLY PROVE THE BOOK OF MORMON

**Oaks Behind Closed Doors:

Oaks acknowledged that FARMS sometimes gets "hyperactive" in trying to prove that the Book of Mormon is true.

He said he becomes concerned when FARMS "stops making shields and starts turning out swords," because, he said, "you cannot prove the Book of Mormon out of the realm of faith." Accepting the Book of Mormon, Oaks said, was ultimately a matter of faith.

**Oaks in his FARMS Banquet Speech:

"Brothers and Sisters, how grateful we are--all of us who rely on scholarship, faith, and revelation--for what you are doing. God bless the founders and the supporters and the workers of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. The work that you do is important, it is well-known, and it is appreciated."

CONCLUSION: Oaks in Private and Oaks in Public on the Book of Mormon and FARMS

In light of his above record, would the real Dallin Oaks please stand up?

If he can't do that, could he please just give up and sit down?

It must be hell trying to play both sides. Oaks appears to be trying too hard to prove to himself that he really does have a "testimony."
 
mcimg
HOME
FAQ
CONTACT ME
332 TOPICS
THE EX-MORMON FORUMS
MORMON RESIGNATION
Google
Search The
Mormon Curtain





MormonCurtain

How to navigate:
  • Click the subject below to go directly to the article.
  • Click the blue arrow on the article to return to the top.
  • Right-Click and copy the "-Guid-" (the Link Location URL) for a direct link to the page and article.
Archived Blogs:
The Family Relationships Wouldn't Be Impaired If Family Members Who Believe In The Church's Doctrine Would Mind Their Own Business
Dear Mr. Oaks: Family, Isn't It About Time?
Oaks Is Too Obtuse To See The Irony
White Noise From The Supremacist Boys: Oaks' Insulting Performance In Twisting LDS Racist History
Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage
Dallin Oaks Blames Not Turning Over Subpoenaed Evidence In Hofmann Case On GA Vacation Schedule
Dallin Oaks Spoke Yesterday
Did Dallin Oaks Ever Retract This Or Explain It?
Elder Oaks: Gay Rights Will Take Away Religous Freedom
Dallin Oaks Will Be The Ruin Of This Church
I Really Wish Someone Would Testify A Counter Argument To Congress
Mr. Oaks Goes To Washington
Oaks Tells BYU Graduates: "You Have A Mark Upon You."
Dallin Oaks On Why A Federal Marriage Amendment Is A Bad Idea
Dallin Oaks: "Disadvantages For Children Raised By Couples Of The Same Gender"
Did Oaks "Lie For The Lord" During Conference?
Unholy Oaks' Smoke! What The Mormon Church Knew And When It Knew It: Murdering The Truth In The Mark Hofmann Bombing Case
Dallin Oaks' Unsuccessful Rewrite Of The Actual Mormon Church Teaching And Practice Of "Celestialized" Plural Marriage
Elder Oaks Takes A Swat At Those Whose Names Were Removed, Other Interesting Tidbits From 2013 Midwest Area Conference
You Can't Listen To A Prophet Who Buys False Documents
Dallin Oaks In June Ensign: Quit Hanging Out And Start Dating
Dallin Oaks: "Don't Write Me A Letter"
Oaks Lays Blame At Women's Feet In Ensign Article
Elder Dallin H. Oaks On The Absolute Power Of The Gift Of Discernment
Oaks Explains Why His Lies Aren't Lies - Teaches Future Church Leaders The True Order Of Lying
Will Lie For Food: Dallin H. Oaks Tells Two Different Stories About Farms
Elder Oaks To BYU-Idaho Women: Your Destiny Is To Be A Wife And A Mother In Zion
Off With His Baker's-Capped Head! Dallin Oaks In Flagrant Violation Of Official LDS Doctrine
Does Dallin Oaks Really Believe That Moses Produced The Pentateuch?
Oaks Criticizes "Soccer" And Team Sports
Oaks's Famous Salamander Speech
Oaks: Spiritual Knowledge Is Different Than Regular Old Knowledge
Dallin Oaks - Like Boyd K. Packer - Instructs Members To Gain A Testimony By Giving It
What Oaks Said, Of Course, Was That He Is Married To Two Living Women At The Same Time
Here Oaks Attempts To Defend His Anti-Criticsm Comments On The PBS Documentary, "The Mormons"
The Day LDS Apostle Dallin H. Hoax/Oaks Reportedly Offered To Quit The Quorum Of The Twelve
The Holy Ghost Is Like A Burning In The Bosom - But Not According To Oaks
My Disappointing Easter: Midwest Area Conference
"Profit" / "Apostate" Oaks To Mormons In Eight States: You Were Warned; You're On Your Own
Oaks: We Should Follow The Spirit In Determining How Much We Shun Disobedient Children
Rephrase Of Oaks
More From Deceptive Dallin: What Oaks Has Said In Private, Vs. Public, About The Book Of Mormon
The Spinning Seer - Or Dallin H. Oaks V's Mohandas K. Gandhi
The Legaleze Trapeze Of Dallin H. Hoax Vs. The Illegal Destruction Of The Nauvoo Expositor
Dallin Oaks--The Overblown, The Underwhelming And The Nonprincipled
Dallin Oaks - Legal Polygamy As The Mormons See It
The Weirdest Talk In Modern GC History: Dallin Oaks' "Language Of Prayer"
Dalin Oaks Defends Joseph Destroying The Press
Women Who Dress Immodestly Are Pornography To Men
Women Who Dress Immodestly Are Pornography To Men
The Weirdest Talk In Modern GC History: Dallin Oaks' "Language Of Prayer"
Dalin Oaks Defends Joseph Destroying The Press
Dallin Oaks - Legal Polygamy As The Mormons See It
The Legaleze Trapeze Of Dallin H. Hoax Vs. The Illegal Destruction Of The Nauvoo Expositor
Dallin Oaks--The Overblown, The Underwhelming And The Nonprincipled
More From Deceptive Dallin: What Oaks Has Said In Private, Vs. Public, About The Book Of Mormon
The Spinning Seer - Or Dallin H. Oaks V's Mohandas K. Gandhi
Dallin Oaks In June Ensign: Quit Hanging Out And Start Dating
Dallin Oaks: "Don't Write Me A Letter"
Oaks Lays Blame At Women's Feet In Ensign Article
Elder Dallin H. Oaks On The Absolute Power Of The Gift Of Discernment
Oaks Explains Why His Lies Aren't Lies - Teaches Future Church Leaders The True Order Of Lying
Will Lie For Food: Dallin H. Oaks Tells Two Different Stories About Farms
Elder Oaks To BYU-Idaho Women: Your Destiny Is To Be A Wife And A Mother In Zion
Off With His Baker's-Capped Head! Dallin Oaks In Flagrant Violation Of Official LDS Doctrine
Does Dallin Oaks Really Believe that Moses Produced the Pentateuch?
Oaks Criticizes "Soccer" And Team Sports
Oaks's Famous Salamander Speech
Oaks: Spiritual Knowledge Is Different Than Regular Old Knowledge
Dallin Oaks - Like Boyd K. Packer - Instructs Members To Gain A Testimony By Giving It
What Oaks Said, Of Course, Was That He Is Married To Two Living Women At The Same Time
Here Oaks Attempts To Defend His Anti-Criticsm Comments On The PBS Documentary, "The Mormons"
The Day LDS Apostle Dallin H. Hoax/Oaks Reportedly Offered To Quit The Quorum Of The Twelve
The Holy Ghost Is Like A Burning In The Bosom - But Not According To Oaks
My Disappointing Easter: Midwest Area Conference
"Profit" / "Apostate" Oaks To Mormons In Eight States: You Were Warned; You're On Your Own
Oaks: We Should Follow The Spirit In Determining How Much We Shun Disobedient Children
Rephrase Of Oaks
The Family Relationships Wouldn't Be Impaired If Family Members Who Believe In The Church's Doctrine Would Mind Their Own Business
Dear Mr. Oaks: Family, Isn't It About Time?
Oaks Is Too Obtuse To See The Irony
White Noise From The Supremacist Boys: Oaks' Insulting Performance In Twisting LDS Racist History
Helping Elder Oaks: The Ancient Order Of Marriage
Dallin Oaks Blames Not Turning Over Subpoenaed Evidence In Hofmann Case On GA Vacation Schedule
Dallin Oaks Spoke Yesterday
Did Dallin Oaks Ever Retract This Or Explain It?
Elder Oaks: Gay Rights Will Take Away Religous Freedom
Dallin Oaks Will Be The Ruin Of This Church
I Really Wish Someone Would Testify A Counter Argument To Congress
Mr. Oaks Goes To Washington
Oaks Tells BYU Graduates: "You Have A Mark Upon You."
Dallin Oaks On Why A Federal Marriage Amendment Is A Bad Idea
Dallin Oaks: "Disadvantages For Children Raised By Couples Of The Same Gender"
Did Oaks "Lie For The Lord" During Conference?
Unholy Oaks' Smoke! What The Mormon Church Knew And When It Knew It: Murdering The Truth In The Mark Hofmann Bombing Case
Dallin Oaks' Unsuccessful Rewrite Of The Actual Mormon Church Teaching And Practice Of "Celestialized" Plural Marriage
Elder Oaks Takes A Swat At Those Whose Names Were Removed, Other Interesting Tidbits From 2013 Midwest Area Conference
You Can't Listen To A Prophet Who Buys False Documents
Dallin H. Oaks And The Polygamy Elephant In The Room
My Oaks Rant - "So-Called Same-Gender Marriage"
Dallin Oaks, A Conflicted Man: His Public Vs. Private Views On The BOM
5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (332 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
  · FOOD STORAGE (3)
  · FUNDAMENTALIST LDS (17)
  · GENERAL AUTHORITIES (29)
  · GENERAL CONFERENCE (14)
  · GENERAL NEWS (5)
  · GEORGE P. LEE (1)
  · GORDON B. HINCKLEY (68)
  · GRANT PALMER (8)
  · GREGORY L. SMITH (9)
  · GUNNISON MASSACRE (1)
  · H. DAVID BURTON (2)
  · HAROLD B. LEE (1)
  · HATE MAIL I RECEIVE (23)
  · HAUNS MILL (2)
  · HBO BIG LOVE (12)
  · HEBER C. KIMBALL (4)
  · HELEN RADKEY (17)
  · HELLEN MAR KIMBALL (4)
  · HENRY B. EYRING (5)
  · HOLIDAYS (13)
  · HOME AND VISITING TEACHING (9)
  · HOWARD W. HUNTER (1)
  · HUGH NIBLEY (13)
  · HYMNS (7)
  · INTERVIEWS IN MORMONISM (18)
  · J REUBEN CLARK (1)
  · JAMES E. FAUST (7)
  · JEFF LINDSAY (6)
  · JEFFREY MELDRUM (1)
  · JEFFREY R. HOLLAND (32)
  · JEFFREY S. NIELSEN (11)
  · JOHN GEE (3)
  · JOHN L. LUND (3)
  · JOHN L. SORENSON (4)
  · JOHN TAYLOR (1)
  · JOSEPH B. WIRTHLIN (1)
  · JOSEPH F. SMITH (1)
  · JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (8)
  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
  · JOSEPH SMITH (101)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - POLYGAMY (43)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - PROPHECY (8)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - SEER STONES (7)
  · JOSEPH SMITH - WORSHIP (13)
  · JUDAISM (3)
  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
  · KEITH B. MCMULLIN (1)
  · KERRY MUHLESTEIN (9)
  · KERRY SHIRTS (6)
  · KINDERHOOK PLATES (6)
  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
  · KIRTLAND EGYPTIAN PAPERS (17)
  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
  · LARRY ECHO HAWK (1)
  · LDS CHURCH (19)
  · LDS CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING (9)
  · LDS OFFICIAL ESSAYS (22)
  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
  · MARRIOTT (2)
  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
  · MASONS (16)
  · MELCHIZEDEK/AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (9)
  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
  · MICHAEL D. WILLIAMS (1)
  · MICHAEL OTTERSON (1)
  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
  · MORE GOOD FOUNDATION (4)
  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
  · MORMON CHURCH HISTORY (8)
  · MORMON CHURCH PR (13)
  · MORMON CHURCH PROPAGANDA (5)
  · MORMON CLASSES (1)
  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
Donate to help keep the MormonCurtain and Mormon Resignation websites up and running!

Note: Dontations are done via my AvoBase, LLC. PayPal Business Account.
Copyright And Info
Articles posted here are © by their respective owners when designated.

Website © 2005-2016

Compiled With: Caligra 1.119

HOSTED BY