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  STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11
Total Articles: 15
Steve Benson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republic. Benson is the grandson of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and LDS prophet Ezra Taft Benson.
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That Dark, Damnable Day When, As A TBM I Blurted Out My Secret Temple Name - In The Bathroom
Thursday, Jan 12, 2006, at 07:42 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
It was March of 1973 and I was a freshly-scrubbed, sacred oil-rubbed new missionary, ready to ship off to Japan.

First stop had been the Salt Lake temple for my rags-to-itches garment makeover.

I was herded through my first session ever with several other clumsy but compliant elders. It was one of those now-rare "live" shows, starring real, B-grade actors--temple workers--who played their roles without benefit of a rattly, B-grade film.

Our cast that day featured an old wheezer-geezer who had been assigned the role of Satan. Frankly, he wasn't all that convincing when he hobbled out and weakly muttered, "Now is the great day of my power."

A couple of hours later--after we had been fitted with a baker's cap/green apron ensemble, then sliced and diced, made to pray in the Adamic tongue while doing the hokey-pokey and finally ordered to whisper 6th grader passwords into giant garment holes carved out of an oversized curtain, it was time to head down into the bowels of the temple sporting our new, stylin,' yet unyellowed, one-piece garmies, where we would change out of our white sheets into our white shirts, and prepare to sally forth in unripened righteousness to make the world safe for theocracy.

Still trying to figure out what I had just been through, I was in a changing stall, self-consciously attempting to modestly dress for success without anyone getting a peek at my special underwear.

Across the way in his own stall, an older gentleman (and obvious veteran of many an endowment session) was also changing, while at the same time watching in mild amusement as our band of bungling brothers suited up for battle.

Seeing that we were awkward and uncomfortable at switching from one goofy costume into another, he smiled and began making conversation.

"Did you all get your new names today?" he asked (Like, yeah, right, as if he didn't know the answer to that one).

We all nodded dumbly and said that we had.

Then, without thinking (after all, I was a Mormon), I blurted out, "Mine's 'Ezekiel!'"

Good golly, Miss Folly.

I hadn't even been "Ezekiel" for more than 90 minutes before managing to spill my for-God's-ears-only celestial clubhouse name--my holy handle that I had been commanded only moments earlier never to utter except at an approved temple Veil in this life while doing follow-up work for dead people and, ultimately, at the Super-Dooper Veil when entering through Man's Turnstile of Happiness into post-mortem celestial glory (under, of course, the watchful gaze of Joseph Smith, who was really just checking out the women).

The very instant "Ezekiel" slipped over the edge of my bottom lip and fell to the Salt Lake temple's locker room floor, I felt an awful pit of hell in my stomach.

"Now I've done it," I thought to myself, in silent horror.

The old man kept smiling at me as if nothing of eternal consequence had happened--but it didn't make me feel any better.

I apologized to him for spilling the beans.

He just kept smiling.

For a long time afterward, I felt horribly guilty. Eventually, however, I managed to convince myself that I hadn't really committed the unmentionable sin.

True, although I had blabbed my secret temple name away from the Veil--in technical violation of the offical Handbook of Oh-No No-Nos--I had done so within the sacred walls of the temple.

So what if they happened to be tiled walls in the downstairs bathroom? It was still the temple, for Elohim's sake.

Certainly the Lord would understand and flush my sins away.

Or would he?

On that fateful day in March of 1973, an old Devil-playing geezer wobbled out in front of our missionary group to announce that now was the great day of his power.

In so doing, he succeeded in getting me to blurt out my sacred-secret-don't-repeat-it celestial sign-on.

In, of all places, a bathroom.

OK, a temple bathroom.

Holy sh*t.

And thus offically began my apostasy.
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What Might Joseph Smith Have Eventually Succumbed To, If Not Bullets?
Monday, Jan 16, 2006, at 04:12 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Postulating on Joseph Smith's Adulterating

If Mormon charlatan and skirt-chasin' "prophet" Joseph Smith hadn't been shot out of a jail cell window at the tender age of 39 while being held for ordering the destruction a newspaper printshop in a vain and criminal effort to cover his cheatin'-heart tracks, what are the chances that a deadly attack of syphilis might have eventually done him in?
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Scientific Evidence That Polygamy is a Prime Spreader of Syphilis

While there is no evidence that at that time of his death Smith was infected with syphilis, it is an historically-documented fact that he was a notoriously lecherous polygamist--and thus a looming target for infection.

It is also a documented fact that polygamy is often a leading cause of syphilis in societies where it is widely practiced.

Recent scientific case studies of communities from Africa to the tropics in which polgyamy is culturally accepted and encouraged indicate that it can be a clear contributor to the onslaught of this dreaded sexually-transmitted disease:

". . . [P]olygamy . . . [is a ] factor aiding the spread of . . . diseases [such as syphilis] . . . "

http://sti.bmjjournals.com/cgi/conten...
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". . . [S]yphilis . . . [is] on the increase . . . [where] . . . environmental factors contribut[ing] to [its] . . . . transmission . . . includ[e] polygamy . . ."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/qu...
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Joseph Smith: A Deadly Disease Waiting to Happen?

As a matter of record, Mormonism's out-of-control "prophet"/polygamist Joseph Smith had at least 33 wives (in the flesh, so to speak) and engaged in sex with many of them:

"Faithful LDS member and historian Todd Compton has found solid documentation for Smith marriages to 33 women while he was alive. . . .

"Compton writes:

"'In the group of Smith's well-documented wives, eleven (33 percent) were 14 to 20 years old when they married him. Nine wives (27 percent) were twenty-one to thirty years old. Eight wives (24 percent) were in Smith's own peer group, ages thirty-one to forty. In the group aged forty-one to fifty, there is a substantial drop off: two wives, or 6 percent, and three (9 percent) in the group aged fifty-one to sixty.'

"'The teenage representation is the largest, though the twenty-year and thirty-year groups are comparable, which contradicts the Mormon folk-wisdom that sees the beginnings of polygamy was an attempt to care for older, unattached women.

"'These data suggest that sexual attraction was an important part of the motivation for Smith's polygamy. In fact, the command to multiply and replenish the earth was part of the polygamy theology, so non-sexual marriage was generally not in the polygamous program, as Smith taught it.' . . .

"Compton [continues]:

"'. . . Utah Mormons (including Joseph's wives) affirmed repeatedly that Joseph had physical sexual relations with his plural wives-despite the Victorian conventions in nineteenth-century American religion which otherwise would have prevented mention of sexual relations in marriage.'

"- Faithful Mormon Melissa Lott (Smith Willes) testified that she had been Joseph's wife 'in very deed' (affidavit of Melissa Willes, 3 August 1893, Temple Lot case, pp. 98, 105; Foster, Religion and Sexuality, p. 156).

"- In a court affidavit, faithful Mormon Joseph Noble wrote that Joseph told him he had spent the night with Louisa Beaman (Temple Lot Case, p. 427).

"- Emily D. Partridge (Smith Young) said she "roomed" with Joseph the night following her marriage to him and said that she had 'carnal intercourse' with him. (Temple Lot case [complete transcript], pp. 364, 367, 384; see Foster, Religion and Sexuality, p. 15).

"In total, 13 faithful Latter-day Saint women who were married to Joseph Smith swore court affidavits that they had sexual relations with him.

"- Joseph Smith's personal secretary records that on May 22, 1843, Smith's first wife Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated (William Clayton's journal entry for 23 May [1843]; see Smith, pp. 105-106).

"- Smith's secretary William Clayton also recorded a visit to young Almera Johnson on May 16, 1843: 'Prest. Joseph and I went to B[enjamin] F. Johnsons to sleep.' Johnson himself later noted that on this visit Smith stayed with Almera 'as man and wife' and 'occupied the same room and bed with my sister, that the previous month he had occupied with the daughter of the late Bishop Partridge as his wife.'

"Almera Johnson also confirmed her secret marriage to Joseph Smith: 'I lived with the prophet Joseph as his wife and he visited me at the home of my brother Benjamin F.' (Zimmerman, I Knew the Prophets, p. 44; see also The Origin of Plural Marriage, Joseph F. Smith, Jr., Deseret News Press, pp. 70-71)

"- Faithful Mormon and Stake President Angus Cannon told Joseph Smith's son: 'Brother Heber C. Kimball, I am informed, asked [Eliza R. Snow] the question if she was not a virgin although married to Joseph Smith and afterwards to Brigham Young, when she replied in a private gathering, "I thought you knew Joseph Smith better than that"' (Stake President Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph III, p. 23, LDS archives).


http://www.i4m.com/think/history/joseph_smith_sex.htm
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Playing the Odds on Joseph Smith: Modern-day LDS Prophet--or Future-day STD Promoter?

Supposing Latter-day Saint bed-hoppin,' women-boppin' Joseph Smith had somehow managed to dodge those Carthage bullets and lived to philander another day, what are the chances he might have eventually fallen prey to the insidious sexually-transmitted disease of syphilis, thanks to his predatory, promiscuous, polygamous practices?

Talk about spreadin' the Mormon gospel.
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Clear Evidence That Joseph Smith Plagiarized The Writings Of Solomon Spaulding In The Creation Of The Book Of Mormon
Monday, Jan 23, 2006, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Clear evidence that Joseph Smith plagiarized the writings of Solomon Spaulding in the creation of the Book of Mormon got Dallin Oaks to privately admit that portions of the Book of Mormon may have been ripped off from other sources--but that even if they were, it was no big deal.

Vernal Holley's important work, "Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look," served as a major reference point for my wife Mary Ann and me when we took our concerns about the Book of Mormon and other LDS matters to Dallin Oaks and Neal Maxwell in September of 1993. We met with them to ask questions and obtain answers to our questions in Maxwell's downtown Salt Lake City office, located at that time in the Church Administration Building.

We, in fact, spent a great deal of time on the subject of Book of Mormon plagiarisms and the "Spaulding Manuscript," much of it precipitated by Holley's research.

Holley's work on parellelisms between the Book of Mormon and the "Spaulding Manuscript" (in terms of both word choice and story narrative) were stunning.

Perhaps even more impressive was a map of the Great Lakes region which Holley had superimposed over a proposed map of Book of Mormon geography. The similarities--not only topographically but also in terms of place names, based on Native American-languaged locations--were undeniable.

It was during our discussion with Oaks and Maxwell about these matters that Oaks ultimately acknowledged that parts of the Book of Mormon might be plagiarzed but compared belief in it to an imperfect marriage: You don't abandon the marriage, he said, just because it's not altogether right.

My wife Mary Ann began our discussion with Oaks and Maxwell on the Book of Mormon by explaining to them that she was sincerely trying to do what the 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 "Spalding 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."

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

Mary Ann initially chose an example in which Spalding 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 Holley's "Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look," pamphlet, which laid out, among other things, strikingly parallel word combinations between the "Spalding 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 "Spalding 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 "Spalding Manuscript" in stories featuring a divine figure (Christ, in the Book of Mormon and Labanska, a great teacher in the "Spalding Manuscript"). I encouraged Oaks to read the "Spalding Manuscript" for himself. Oaks, however, was dismissive of Spalding's work and refused to take the offer seriously.

Instead, 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 Spalding texts; rather, she wanted to get answers regarding their similarities in areas of story lines, exact wording, etc).

*****


A personal sidenote on Holley:

Holley lived in Roy, Utah, where he died a few years ago. I telephoned him one day and expressed to him my thanks for the research he had done--informing him how pivotal it had been in helping me reach my own conclusions about the falsity of the Book of Mormon.

Holley was quite gracious and shared some of his own experieces regarding his personal sojourn away from Mormonism. He told me that during the course of his own studies, he began asking questions of his local Church leaders about the Book of Mormon which no one could, or seemed willing, to answer.

So, Holley just continued to plug away doing his own research. (A BYU professor eventually referred me to Holley's Book of Mormon studies, telling me that, in this professor's opinion, it significantly undermined the veracity of the Book of Mormon and, in fact, noted that Holley's work had had an effect on the beliefs of some Mormons whom this professor knew).

For a link to the entire contents of Holley's masterful expose' of the Book of Mormon as plagiarized fiction, see:

http://sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP0.htm
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To Mormonism's Cry-Baby Apologists At Fair And Farms: Quit Your Grumping About Criticisms Of The Book Of Mormon And Pick Up The Gauntlet Thrown Down By Orson Pratt
Monday, Jan 30, 2006, at 07:17 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
"This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God . . . If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world; calculated to deceive and ruin millions . . .

"The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such that, if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it, if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. . . .

"If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should he extensively published to the world as such. The evidence and arguments upon which the imposture was detected should be clearly and logically stated, that those who have been sincerely, yet unfortunately, deceived may perceive the nature of the deception, and be reclaimed, and that those who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed and silenced, not by physical force, neither by persecutions, bare assertions, nor ridicule, but by strong and powerful arguments--by evidences adduced from scripture and reason . . .

"But on the other hand, if investigations should prove the Book of Mormon true . . . the American and English nations should utterly reject both the Popish [i.e., Roman Catholic] and Protestant ministry, together with all the churches which have been built up by them or that have sprung from them, as being entirely destitute of authority."


(Orson Pratt, Works: Divine Authority of The Book of Mormon [Liverpool, 1851, pp. 1-2, as quoted in Wayne L. Cowdery, Howard A. Davis and Arthur Vanick, Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?: The Spalding Enigma [St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 2005], p. 18)


Jesus Christ-man-to-God/man, if you can't take the heat, get out of that empty stone box.

But a friendly word of advice to you in the process:

Don't waste too much of your valuable tithe-paying time trying to defend the indefensible.

As has been amply demonstrated by incontrovertible evidence, your "sacred" Book of Mormon is not "a valuable, historical record of pre-Columbian North America" but, rather, "a deception of the first order, perpetrated upon the gullible and the credulous by the very founder of the [Mormon] Church himself, [your] Prophet Joseph Smith."

(ibid., p. 17)

Just thought you'd like to know.

Now, relax, change into something more comfortable than that Masonic underwear of yours and go have a beer. :)
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Book Of Moron Stories: Wicked Brown-Skinned Lemuel Comes Back From The Dead Posing As A Quaker, Buys The Palymra Home Of Shiftless White-Skinned Joseph Smith Posing As A Prophet
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
forces the lazy deadbeat Smiths to live as tenant farmers because of their in-the-toilet credit rating, then returns to his proper place as a super satanic dude in the Book of Mormon, where he got his just desserts for being such a lousy landlord--by being punished by God with a dark complexion.

So there.

At least that's Joseph Smith's story--and he's stickin' to it.
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Who Was Lemuel Durfee and How Did He Know Joseph Smith?

. . . [The Smiths] persuaded one Lemuel Durfee to buy the [Palmyra] farm [where the Smiths took up residence], and county records show that he [Lemuel Durfee] took ownership on December 20, 1825, for $1,135. . . .

A Quaker of the Hicksite persuasion, owner of a woods near Palmyra in which the little Quaker church stood, Durfee apparently treated the Smith family with sympathy.

He gave them a lease on the house and they would remain in it another three years, until December 30, 1828, when they would move to another house a little farther south.


http://www.signaturebooks.com/excerpts/first.htm
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The Joseph Smith, Sr. family los[t] the the title to their farm in Manchester. Lemuel Durfee, Sr., the new owner, allow[ed] the Smiths to remain on the property as tenant farmers.

http://olivercowdery.com/history/Cdychrn1.htm
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The Smith family built a log home, technically just outside their property, in the town of Palmyra . . .

In 1822, the Smiths began building a larger frame house that was actually on their new property . . .

In 1825, the Smiths were unable to raise money for their final mortgage payment, and their creditor foreclosed on the property.

However, the family was able to persuade a local Quaker, Lemuel Durfee, to buy the farm and rent the Smiths the property.

At the end of 1828, the family moved to another house further south, where they remained until 1830.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_life_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.
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When [the father of] Samuel [Harrsion Smith, Joseph Smith's younger brother] . . . missed a mortgage payment on the family farm on the outskirts of Manchester Township near Palmyra, a local Quaker named Lemuel Durfee purchased the land and allowed the Smiths to continue to live there in exchange for Samuel's labor at Durfee's store.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_H._Smith
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Lucy Mack Smith mentions in her history that in 1829 her family had moved out of the frame house, which belonged to Lemuel Durfee and his heirs, and went back into their previous log house in the township of Manchester where Hyrum Smith and his family had been living. . . . In this building, Oliver Cowdery prepared the Book of Mormon printer's manuscript in 1829-30 and here individuals visited the Smith family until the Smiths moved to Waterloo, NY in the fall of 1830.

http://www.xmission.com/~research/about/manchester.htm
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Sometime in late 1826 the Smiths lost their farm. They had been unable to meet their payments and lacked a thousand dollars of completing the purchase when the land agent in Canandaigua foreclosed the property and sold it to Sheriff Lemuel Durfee.

Although Durfee permitted the Smiths to remain in possession, in consideration of a small annual payment sufficient to pay the interest on the balance, . . . the family was heartbroken--their long ordeal by poverty suffered to no purpose. . . .

This is the arrangement described by Thomas L. Cook [in] Palmyra and Vicinity (Palmyra, 1930), p. 219, although he pictures Durfee as owner of the property from the beginning.

Lucy Mack Smith's confused and pathetic account, Biographical Sketches (Liverpool, 1853), pp. 92-98, 129, at any rate agrees that Durfee "became the possessor of the farm," and that the Smiths remained on it thereafter only at Durfee's pleasure.

It would seem that Lucy's pride makes her insist that they missed only the final payment, for it is inconceivable that they could have contracted to buy the farm in no more than five installments, and even more inconceivable that they would have engaged to pay at the rate of a thouand dollars a year, the sum she says they would have needed to save the farm.


http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/dalemorgan/dalechapter4.htm#Chapter4
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Lemuel Durfee knew the Smiths indirectly as a landlord from 1825 to 1829 . . .

http://byustudies2.byu.edu/JSChronology/Articles/10.3Anderson.pdf
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What Lemuel Durfee Thought of Joseph Smith

[Sworn affidavit,] Palmyra, Dec. 4, 1833.

We, the undersigned, have been acquainted with the Smith family, for a number of years, while they resided near this place, and we have no hesitation in saying, that we consider them destitute of that moral character, which ought to entitle them to the confidence of any community.

They were particularly famous for visionary projects, spent much of their time in digging for money which they pretended was hid in the earth; and to this day, large excavations may be seen in the earth, not far from their residence, where they used to spend their time in digging for hidden treasures.

Joseph Smith, Senior, and his son Joseph, were in particular, considered entirely destitute of moral character, and addicted to vicious habits.

Martin Harris was a man who had acquired a handsome property, and in matters of business his word was considered good; but on moral and religious subjects, he was perfectly visionary--sometimes advocating one sentiment, and sometimes another.

And in reference to all with whom we were acquainted, that have embraced Mormonism from this neighborhood, we are compeled to say, were very visionary, and most of them destitute of moral character, and without influence in this community; and this may account why they were permitted to go on with their impositions undisturbed.

It was not supposed that any of them were possessed of sufficient character or influence to make any one believe their book or their sentiments, and we know not of a single individual in this vicinity that puts the least confidence in their pretended revelations.

[signed by]

Lemuel Durfee [and 50 others]

Manchester, Nov. 3d, 1833.


http://www.angelfire.com/az2/arizonadry/truth/howe.html
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How Lemuel Durfee Made It Into the Book of Mormon

[A] source of inspiration for the Book of Mormon may have been Joseph's own life, neighborhood, family, and friends. . . .

[T]here are various Book of Mormon names such as 'Lemuel,' a wicked character.

This may refer to Lemuel Durfee, a neighbor who in 1825 bought the Smith's farm when they could no longer afford it, thus forcing them to live as tenants.


Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 72, and endnote #61, p. 514; see also, Dan Vogel, Early Mormon Documents, vol. 1, p. 321, footnote #128
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Lemuel is a Biblical name (Prov. 31:1, 4) but is was also the name of a neighbor of Joseph Smith, Lemuel Durfee, who signed an affidavit in 1833 that denounced Smith's supposed revelations and accused him of immoral character and vicious habits (See Howe's Mormonism Unvailed, p. 261-62).

Lemuel was one of the bad guys that God cursed, causing him and all his descendants to have dark skin.


http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/BOM/topics/lemuel.html
_____

(emphasis added)
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"The Plagiarizing Moves On:" In The Glorious Tradition Of Mormonism's Unoriginal And Uninspired "Prophets": Joseph Smith, David O. Mckay, Ezra Taft Benson, Merrill J. Bateman And Bruce R. Mcconkie
Thursday, Feb 2, 2006, at 07:43 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
SOLOMON SPAULDING DISGUISED AS JOSEPH SMITH

First and foremost, of course, among Mormonism's persistent plagiarists was its charismatic charlatan and philandering founder, Joseph Smith himself (1805-1844).

Smith (with the conniving assistance of Sidney Rigdon) ripped off the fictional manuscript writings of Congregationalist minister Solomon Spaulding (1761-1816) for the purpose of creating the equally fictional Book of Mormon.

In his devastating expose' of Smith's theft of others' hard-earned intellectual property (since he had no honest intellect of his own), researcher Vernal Holley exposes the spawned-by-Spaulding connection:

"[There are] many similarities between Spaulding's 'Manuscript Story' and the Book of Mormon. These are not vague similariites also found in other adventure stories; they are unique only to the works in question.

"How many books exist that have the same story outline as the Book of Mormon? How many stories tell of a record being written by the ancestors of the American Indians and buried by them to come forth at some future time when other people inherit their lands? How many tell of the same worship ceremonies, cultural technology, seer stones, and give the same descriptions of their fortifications and war stories? How many novels tell of a white God person whose teachings brought about a long period of peace followed by a war between kindred tribes in which the losing people are exterminated? Many similarities in the literary style of the two works have also been identified including identical word combinations, and the geograhpical settings of the two stories appear to be in the same area?

"Most skeptical readers of Spaulding's 'Manuscript Story' encounter difficulty in recognizing similarities between it and the Book of Mormon because they expect it to be written in the King James style complete with sentences beginning with "And it came to pass" and personal names similar to those in the Book of Mormon. When they cannot find these elements, they may lost interest and find it difficult to complete even a first reading. The problem is compounded when the reader is not a veteran student of the Book of Mormon. For example, if the reader is unaware that Gazelem, the Book of Mormon servant of the Lord, possessed a seer stone, the Spaulding seer stone might be passed over as insignificant.

"I believe that anyone who carefully studies all the material in [my] report will see that a relationship does exist between Solomon Spaulding's unpublished writing, called 'Manuscript Story,' and the Book of Mormon. The only significant difference between the two story outlines is the inclusion of the romance between Prince Eleson and Princess Lamess in 'Manuscript Story.' There is no such romance in the Book of Mormon.

"All the same, [Hugh] Nibley's assertion that the similarities between the 'Manuscript Story' and the Book of Mormon 'add up to nothing' seems to me to be an unfair conclusion. I believe the application of Nibley's rule (the closer the resemblance, the closer the connection) leaves little doubt that a connection does exist between Solomon Spaulding's writing and the Book of Mormon.

"So the question remains: How did this relationship come about? And, was the unfinished Spaulding 'Manuscript Story'--or an enlarged version--used by Joseph Smith as the groundwork for the Book of Mormon?"


(Vernal Holley, Book of Mormon Authorship: A Closer Look--A comprehensive study of the similarities between the Book of Mormon and the writings of Solomon Spaulding, 3rd edition, revised and enlarged [Roy, Utah: Vernal Holley, publisher, 1992], pp. 71-72)

For striking examples of parallel word usages, storylines, names, and geographic locales, see:

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP0.htm

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP2.htm#pg33

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP2.htm#pg28

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP1.htm#pg20

http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/vern/vernP2.htm#pg27

http://sidneyrigdon.com/vern/Holley1.JPG

http://sidneyrigdon.com/vern/Holley2.JPG and:

Wayne L. Cowdrey, Howard A. Davis and Arthur Vanick, Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon? (St. Louis, Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 2005)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0758605277/002-1638398-8090404?v=glanceandn=283155

**"Book of Mormon stories that I cribbed--here, look and see . . ."
_____


BENJAMIN DISRAELI DISGUISED AS DAVID O. McKAY

David O. McKay (1873-1970) is perhaps best known for his oft-quoted little couplet (which, come to find out, wasn't his after all):

"No other success can compensate for failure in the home."

(quoted on an official LDS website, from J. E. McCullough, Home: The Savior of Civilization [1924], 42; Conference Report, April 1935, p. 116.)

http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/presidents/controllers/potcController.jsp?leader=9andtopic=quotes

http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=2252
_____


McKay had, in fact, infamously ripped line off that famous line from Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), a renowned British politician, novelist and essayist who said:

"No success in public life can compensate for failure in the home."

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Benjamin_Disraeli

**"No success can compensate for words that aren't my own."
_____


C.S. LEWIS DISGUISED AS EZRA TAFT BENSON

In Mormon circles, one of the most beloved sermons attributed to the Mormon Church President Ezra Taft Benson(1899-1994) is the one entitled, "Beware of Pride" (which was actually read on 1 April 1989, at the Saturday morning session of the 159th semi-annual General Conference, not by Benson, but by First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley, who delivered it in the ailing Benson's behalf).

This talk by my grandfather has been described by LDS devotees as "[p}erhaps the best remembered of all Ezra Taft Benson's talks . . . [Church] [m]embers from all over the political spectrum love and agree with him here. This talk is . . . loved."

http://www.zionsbest.com/pride.html

http://www.zionsbest.com/top25.html
_____


Moreover, in a glowing obituary of my grandfather, the sermon was mentioned as follows:

"Continuing to help set the Church in order and perfect the Saints, he delivered another landmark address entitled 'Beware of Pride' . . ."

http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/people/Benson_EOM.htm
_____


Trouble is, much of Benson's pride sermon was a blatant exercise in plagiarism from the writings of Christian apologist C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), as found in Lewis' work, Mere Christianity, under the chapter heading, “The Great Sin” (C.S. Lews, Mere Christianity, revised and enlarged [New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1952]).

http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides/mere_christianity.asp

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060652888/002-1638398-8090404?v=glanceandn=283155
_____


Not only was the sermon delivered by someone else, persuasive evidence has surfaced that a person other than Ezra Taft Benson actually researched and wrote the talk.

Significant portions of Benson’s pride sermon were directly lifted from, influenced by and cobbled together from the writings of Christian apologist C.S. Lewis--
A line-by-line comparison of the text of both documents provides clear and convincing evidence that a major source source for Benson's talk on pride was the earlier work of C.S. Lewis.

Moreover, this blatant and heavy borrowing, both in terms of wording and concept, was done without attribution.

Examples of these plagiarisms are listed below, by category.

Pride is the Ultimate Vice

Lewis

"The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride." (p. 109)


Benson

"Pride is the universal sin, the great vice."
_____


The Competitive Nature of Pride

Lewis

"Pride is essentially competitive--is competitive by is very nature . . .” (p. 109)

". . . Pride is essentially competitive in a way that other vices are not." (p. 110)

"Pride is competitive by its very nature." (p. 110)

“Once the element of competition has gone, pride is gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not.” (p. 110)



Benson

"Pride is essentially competitive in nature. . . .

”Our will in competition to God’s will allows desires, appetites, and passions to go unbridled."

_____


The Proud See Themselves Being Above Others

Lewis

"A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you." (p.111)


Benson

“Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us.”
_____


The Proud Also Look From the Bottom Up

Lewis

“When you delight wholly in yourself and do not care about the praise at all, you have reached the bottom.” (p. 112)


Benson

“There is, however, a more common ailment among us and that is pride from the bottom looking up.”
_____


Pride Equals Enmity

Lewis

"Pride always means enmity--it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God." (p.111)


Benson

"The central feature of pride is enmity--enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowman."

“Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers.”

“Another major portion of this very prevalent sin of pride is enmity toward our fellowmen.”

_____


Pride and Self-Value

Lewis

"You value other people enough to want them to look at you." (p. 112)


Benson

"The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not."
_____


Pride vs. Humility

Lewis

"The virtue opposite to it [pride], in Christian morals, is called Humility." (p. 109)

“ . . . if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble–delightfully humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which had made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible . . .” (p. 114)



Benson

"The antidote for pride is humility . . . "

“Choose to be humble. God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.”

_____


Pride Not Admitted in Self

Lewis

"There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves." (pp. 108-09)


Benson

"Pride is a sin that can readily be seen in others but is rarely admitted in ourselves."
_____


Only once in Benson's sermon was proper credit given to C.S. Lewis as a source:

"The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: 'Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. . . . It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone' (Mere Christianity [New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109-10)."
_____


All in the Family: The Identity of the Individual Who Researched and Wrote Ezra Taft Benson’s “Beware of Pride” Sermon

Several years ago, my wife, Mary Ann, and I visited with May Benson, wife of Reed Benson (Ezra Taft Benson’s oldest child), in their home in Provo, Utah, during which time the subject of pride and my grandfather’s sermon on the matter was a focus of conversation.

The first occasion was prior to the public delivery of Ezra Taft Benson’s sermon by Gordon B. Hinckley in the April 1989 General Conference and the second visit took place after the speech.

May told us she had very strong feelings about the subject of pride. She was especially offended and concerned with what she regarded as the Benson family's own problems with pride.

(In fact, she had gotten up in disgust and walked out of a wedding breakfast for my sister Meg, when one of the daughters of Ezra Taft Benson, Beverly Benson Parker, as she was listening to the father of the groom, Cap Ferry, make some remarks to the assembled, leaned over and whispered self-righteously to others at the table, "Well, we know which family was blessed with the spirituality").

May told us she had put together quite a few thoughts on the subject of pride that she hoped someday to compile and publish in a book.

However, after my grandfather’s pride sermon was delivered, May told us that she no longer felt it necessary to publish her hoped-for book. Why? Because, she informed us, her husband, Reed, had spoken with Ezra Taft Benson about her research on the topic.

May was clearly indicating to us that her information and study efforts had been used in crafting my grandfather’s sermon on pride.

However, the true extent of May Benson's involvement in that effort was not shared with us by her and did not become evident until some time later.

Reliable sources in Provo subsequently informed me of rumors that May herself may have worked on Ezra Taft Benson’s sermon.

This I was able to confirm even more conclusively from a credible source inside the Benson family who knows May quite well, who was directly familiar with the situation and who wishes to remain anonymous.

The source told me in a face-to-face meeting that May Benson, daughter-in-law of Ezra Taft Benson through marriage to his son Reed, traveled to St. George, Utah, where over a period of several weeks “she wrote his talk.”

It appears that those responsible for the production and delivery of Ezra Taft Benson's "Beware of Pride" sermon were themselves too prideful to acknowlege that:

--(1) the sermon was largely plagiarized from the earlier works of a noted Christian writer; and

--(2) the sermon was actually ghost-written by a woman doing research on the talk for an uninspired Mormon "prophet."

**"Praise to the man who depends on a woman."
_____


GERTRUDE HIMMELFARB DISGUISED AS MERRIL J. BATEMAN

At a Sunstone Symposium a few years ago, LDS author Bryan Waterman critically noted the “reliance” of BYU President Merrill Bateman (1936- ) “on the work of [academic conservative] Gertrude Himmelfarb (1922- ) . . .”

http://en.web-blaster.org/www.lds-mormon.com/31076.shtml
_____


Actually, Bateman’s supposed “reliance” took the form of blatant plagiarism.

On 25 April 1996, the then-incoming president of BYU/General Authority Bateman delivered his inaugural address to the student body assembled in the Marriott Center, entitled "Response to Change."

http://www.byu.edu/fc/ee/w_mjb496.htm
_____


Bateman was subsequently accused of stealing--without attribution--portions of his remarks from an article published earlier the same year, authored by conservative philosopher Gertrude Himmelfarb, entitled, "The Christian University: A Call to Counterrevolution." (First Things, no. 59, January 1996, pp. 16-19)

http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9601/articles/himmelfarb.html
_____


The plagiarism accusation caused an uproar in academic circles, leading Bateman to deny the charge. The accusation was recently mentioned in an article appearing in the Mormon Church-owned Desert News, in conjunction with the end of Bateman's tenure as BYU president:

”Bateman, who served as the LDS Church's presiding bishop until his appointment as university president, was accused of plagiarizing the ideas of neo-conservative scholar Gertrude Himmelfarb during his 1996 inaugural address. Bateman denied the plagiarism charge.”

http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,465034158,00.html
_____


Comparing Bateman's inaugural address with Himmelfarb's article proves that Bateman was, well, lying.

Although the manuscript copy of Bateman's 1996 inaugural address offered a single footnote reference to Himmelfarb's ideas (located on p. 18 of her article), Bateman failed in the spoken version of those remarks to acknowledge his reliance on Himmelfarb's ideas--thus, leaving the false impression that her words were his own.

A point-by-point, topical comparison of the Himmelfarb and Bateman texts raises serious questions about Bateman's intellectual honesty:


On Disparaging Truth, Knowledge and Objectivity

Himmelfarb

"Today many eminent professors in some of our most esteemed universities disparage the ideas of truth, knowledge, and objectivity as naive or disingenuous at best, as fraudulent and despotic at worst."

"Above all, it is the truth that is denigrated."

"Finally, and most disastrously, the university, liberated from religious dogma, has also become liberated from the traditional academic dogma, the belief in truth, knowledge, and objectivity."



Bateman

"During the past two decades, however, a number of well-known educators have begun to denigrate truth, knowledge, and objectivity."


On Politicization of the University By Interest Groups

Himmelfarb

"It [the university] is also a highly politicized institution; no longer subject to any religious authority, the university is at the mercy of the whims and wills of interest groups and ideologies."


Bateman

"The university becomes a politicized institution that is at the mercy and whims of various interest groups."


On the Secularization of the University and Its Hostility to Religion

Himmelfarb

"For we are now confronted with a university . . . that has almost totally abandoned its original mission. It is now not merely a secular institution but a secularist one, propagating secularism as a creed, a creed that is not neutral as among religions but is hostile to all religions, indeed to religion itself."


Bateman

"If university scholars reject the notion of ‘truth,’ there is no basis for intellectual and moral integrity. Secularism becomes a creed that is no longer neutral but hostile to religion."


On the Rise of Radical Relativism

Himmelfarb

"The animating spirit of postmodernism is a radical relativism and skepticism that rejects any idea of truth, knowledge, or objectivity."


Bateman

"The driving theory is a radical relativism and skepticism that rejects any idea of truth or knowledge."
_____


Before giving his purloined speech, perhaps Bateman should have review BYU's own Honor Code.

This document on Integrity 101 has the following to say about academic standards:

”The first injunction of the BYU Honor Code is the call to ‘be honest.’ Students come to the university not only to improve their minds, gain knowledge, and develop skills that will assist them in their life's work, but also to build character. ‘President David O. McKay taught that character is the highest aim of education’ (The Aims of a BYU Education, p. 6). It is the purpose of the BYU Academic Honesty Policy to assist in fulfilling that aim.

”BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to ,b>plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct.”
(emphasis added)

http://fhss.byu.edu/polsci/Goodliffe/313/2002/syllabus.htm#Plagiarism
_____


Like any good power-mongering Mormon authority figure who couldn't give a flyin' fig leaf apron about adhering to moral principle, fellow Blue Suit Boyd K. Packer rode to Bateman's rescue with a divinely-sounded vengeance.

A few months after exposure of Bateman as a clunky plagiarist, Packer issued what was seen by many as a thinly-veiled attack against Bateman's Mormon critics.

At October 1996 General Conference, in a sermon unsubtley entitled, "The Twelve Apostles," Packer warned:

”Some few within the Church, openly or perhaps far worse, in the darkness of anonymity, reproach their leaders in the wards and stakes and the Church, seeking to make them ‘an offender for a word,’ as Isaiah said. To them the Lord said, ‘Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them.

"’But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves . . .

"’Because they have offended my little ones they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house.

"’Their basket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them.

"’They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.’

”That terrible penalty will not apply to those who try as best they can to live the gospel and sustain their leaders. Nor need it apply to those who in the past have been guilty of indifference or even opposition, if they will repent and confess their transgressions, and forsake them.”


http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/conferences/96_oct/Packer_Apostles.htm
_____


For those concerned about fake prophets of God like Packer coming to the defense of other fake Mormon prophets like Bateman, they can rest assured that any LDS leader whom Packer defends probably has done something wrong.

**"(Organ music, please): 'Music and the Stolen Word'"
_____


AN UNKNOWN ARAB DISGUISED AS BRUCE R. McCONKIE

In eulogizing the by-then-dead Apostle/Fossil Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985) at a BYU fireside, then-member of the First Quorum of the Seventy John K. Carmack offered this glowing tribute to Bruce the Prophetic Plagiarizer, comparing the Mormon Church to a steady-as-she-goes caravan moving forward into the eternal realms of glory:

” . . . [A]s an expression of his confidence in the Church, and as a seer whose words light the pathway we must travel as we endure to the end of that path, Elder McConkie saw the road ahead and the kingdom as a moving caravan triumphantly moving to its destiny.”

http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6933
_____


Carmack was borrowing his in-memorium caravan image from an earlier McConkie sermon entitled “The Caravan Moves On.”

Not to be outdone, McConkie himself had lifted the caravan metaphor (without attribution, of course) from an old Arab proverb.

McConkie’s sermon (which appeared in the November 1984 issue of the Ensign) likened critics of the Mormon Church to dogs yapping at the heels of the caravan of truth as it plodded ahead, undaunted and undeterred by apostate hounds of hell barking in the rear.

Declared McConkie in solemn, plagiarized tones:

”The Church is like a great caravan--organized, prepared, following an appointed course, with its captains of tens and captains of hundreds all in place.

”What does it matter if a few barking dogs snap at the heels of the weary travelers? Or that predators claim those few who fall by the way?

"The caravan moves on.

”Is there a ravine to cross, a miry mud hole to pull through, a steep grade to climb? So be it. The oxen are strong and the teamsters wise.

"The caravan moves on.

”Are there storms that rage along the way, floods that wash away the bridges, deserts to cross, and rivers to ford? Such is life in this fallen sphere.

"The caravan moves on.

”Ahead is the celestial city, the eternal Zion of our God, where all who maintain their position in the caravan shall find food and drink and rest.

"Thank God that the caravan moves on!

”In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.”


http://www.schoolofabraham.com/caravan.htm
_____


Not to put too much of an uninspired point on it, McConkie’s Christly caravan imagery was purloined from an ancient Arab proverb (which, of course, he didn’t have to give credit to because, thus saith the Lard, he was an Apostle of the Lard who didn't have to give credit to anyone if he didn't want to).

In reality, the caravan line has been a popular go-to image used through time to illustrate all kinds of points of view, McConkie’s anti-dog doctrine being just one of them.

In fact, the popularity of this well-known Arab proverb was recently illustrated when Russian President Vladimir Putin was mentioned in a news article as "recit[ing] a long list of Russia's economic accomplishments during his presidency, dismissing foreign critics of Russia's worthiness for Group of Eight membership with a proverb: ‘The dog keeps barking, but the caravan moves on.’"

http://smh.com.au/news/world/hamas-must-change-now-putin-warns/2006/02/01/1138590568294.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-putin1feb01,0,4490127.story?coll=la-news-
_____


But far from him to give thanks to some lowly, brown-skinned Arab. McConkie took the glory unto himself, although he's not named in history as the proverb's originator:

http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/wosdirectoryd.htm

http://www.famous-quotations.com/asp/proverbs.asp?

http://www.worldofquotes.com/proverb/Arabic/1/
_____


Old myths about supposedly inspired Mormon leaders die hard. (As they say, never let the facts get in the way of a good prophet).

In a talk recently delivered at a Brigham Young University-Idaho Devotional, entitled “Obedience to the Commandments of the Lord,” Kim B. Clark soberly invoked the non-original words of non-inspired McConkie to make a nonsensical point.

" . . .I would like to marry Nephi’s metaphor of the iron rod and the strait and narrow path to another image given us by another prophet, seer, and revelator in our day. I think in so doing we may see new dimensions of the journey and gain deeper understanding of what we must do to obtain eternal life.

"The metaphor I have in mind was given to us by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in a talk he gave in general conference in the fall of 1984."


[Editor's note: No, it wasn't, but go ahead, anyway].

"Let’s listen to Elder McConkie:

"'The Church is like a great caravan--organized, prepared, following an appointed course, with its captains of ten and captains of hundreds in place.

"‘What does it matter if a few barking dogs snap at the heels of the weary travelers? Or that predators claim those few who fall by the way?

"The caravan moves on.

"'Is there a ravine to cross, a miry mud hole to pull through, a steep grade to climb? So be it. The oxen are strong and the teamsters wise.

"'The caravan moves on.

"'Are there storms that rage along the way, floods that wash away the bridges, deserts to cross, rivers to ford? Such is life in the fallen sphere. The caravan moves on.

“'Ahead is the celestial city, the eternal Zion of our God, where all who maintain their position in the caravan shall find food and drink and rest.

"'Thank God that the caravan moves on!'”


http://www.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/Devotionals/2005_08_30_ClarkK.htm
_____


Sorry to burst your testimonial bubble, Sister Clark, but Bruce R. McConkie did not give you that inspiring metaphor.

An anonymous Arab--one long lost to history--did.

Time to move on.

**"There is no god but Allah and McConkie's not his prophet."
topic image
Turning Black Into Green: Following The Mormon Money Trail To A Tax-Exempt Heavenly Haven
Tuesday, Feb 7, 2006, at 09:03 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Introduction: Almost Down for the Count–The Mormon Church’s Brush with a Federal Knock-Out Punch Over Its Anti-Black Doctrine

What are to be made of reports that, circa 1978, the Mormon Church was in danger of losing its federal tax-exempt status due to its racially-discriminatory policies targeted against Blacks?

Predictably, true-believing Mormons have never been willing to admit that their Church was at one time dangerously on the IRS ropes, close to being stripped of its tax-exempt status, due to its anti-Black doctrine--and barely managed to dance away from a federal government knock-out only by abandoning its officially-sanctioned bigotry.

GONG!!

There's the final bell.

Time to examine the scorecard.
_____


The Official Mormon Cult Claim: Alleged Threats of Federal Tax-Exempt Revocation Had Absolutely Nothing To Do with Black Men Belatedly Getting the Priesthood

Speaking for the Mormon Church’s Public Affairs Department in response to accusations about its suspicious reversal of its long-standing anti-Black priesthood doctrine, LDS spokesman Bruce L. Olsen flatly denied that the Church’s decision to grant priesthood authority to Black men was in any way related to fear of losing federal tax exempt status.

With a straight white face, Olsen asserted:

”It's one thing to distort history, quite another to invent it. Kathy Erickson . . . claims that the federal government threatened the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with its tax-exempt status in 1978 because of the Church's position regarding Blacks and the priesthood.

“We state categorically that the federal government made no such threat in 1978 or at any other time. The decision to extend the blessings of the priesthood to all worthy males had nothing to do with federal tax policy or any other secular law.

"In the absence of proof, we conclude that Ms. Erickson is seriously mistaken.”


(Bruce L. Olsen, “Distorted History,” in "Public Forum," Salt Lake Tribune, 5 April 2001)

http://www.lds-mormon.com/taxes_priesthood.shtml
_____


Other Mormon apologists have similarly denied that the LDS Church was pressured into rescinding its anti-Black priesthood doctrine by federal officials holding the sword of tax exemption revocation over its head.

Darrick Evenson, for instance, solemnly testified:

”There was really very little external pressure on the Church after 1976 regarding [the Blacks and the priesthood] issue.

“The Church has been very open as to what inspired the Brethren to ask the LORD for a rescinding of the Priesthood ban.

"They claim it was not external or internal pressure, but rather the exceeding faith of the Negro and Mulatto Saints, which inspired them to petition the LORD.”
(original emphasis)

http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/q16.htm
_____


Color It Contrary: The Case of Mormon U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee

Reacting to Mormon mouthpiece Olsen’s dubious claims, Gary Anderson, writingin a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, countered:

"I was quite surprised by LDS PR man Bruce Olsen's attack . . . regarding the Mormon Church's motivations for abandoning its anti-Black doctrine . . . .

“His bold assault is particularly amazing in light of the fact that history ‘distortion’ and ‘invention’ have been trademarks of Mormonism since its inception. Of course, the risk in Mr. Olsen's gallant tossing of the gauntlet is that someone might just pick it up.

“For example, it didn't take much investigation to discover that in 1981 the Solicitor General of the United States, Rex Lee, a Mormon, recused himself from a case against Bob Jones University.

“In that case, the U.S. government was threatening to revoke Bob Jones University's tax-exempt status because of its racist policy of prohibiting interracial dating.

"When asked why he took himself off the case, Mr. Lee explained that previously when representing the Mormon church in a similar case, he had argued that the church should retain its tax-exempt status despite its racist policies and felt conflicted from arguing an opposing view in the Bob Jones case. (see, The Tenth Justice, [by] Lincoln Caplan, Knopf, 1987, p. 51, note 2 . . . p. 293).

“If the [Mormon] Church's tax-exempt status was never threatened by the U.S. government because of its racist policies, why was Mr. Lee making such an argument, presumably in an era before 1978?

“Given Lee's explanation, Olsen's ‘categorical’ assertion that federal tax law was never a motivating factor in the church's 1978 change in racial policy rings disingenuous. One thing true history teaches us is that secrecy breeds dishonesty.

“It's fairly easy for Mr. Olsen to hide behind the tightly secured vaults in the Church Office Building and demand proof. If he was a true knight, he would throw open the doors to the vault and invite inquiring minds in to examine the minutes of meetings held by church leaders in the months and days leading up to the 'revelation,' so we might decide for ourselves the Church's actual motivation for the change.

"What's that you say, Mr. Olsen? Salamander got your tongue?"


(Gary Anderson, Springfield, Virginia, letter to the editor, Salt Lake Tribune, 22 April 2001)

http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/
_____


In the book to which Anderson refers, author Caplan notes, in fact, that U.S. Solicitor General/Mormon Lee (who would eventually become president of BYU) recused himself from the case of Bob Jones v. IRS, wherein the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious schools which practice racial discrimination could be constitutionally stripped of federal tax exempt protection.

Lee, writes Caplan, bowed out of the case because Lee had previously petitioned the IRS for tax exempt refuge in behalf of the racially-discrimnatory Mormon Church. Lee, noted Caplan, begged off because, given his previous advocacy for the color-bound Mormons, he now considered it improper for him to argue in behalf of the IRS against color-bound Bob Jones University.

From Caplan’s book:

”Rex Lee . . . who had been sworn in as Solicitor General seven months before [the Bob Jones brief was filed in 1982], had once represented the Mormon Church when it faced a problem like Bob Jones's and, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he had taken himself off the case.” (p. 50)

“In 1970, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that Bob Jones no longer qualified for tax-exempt status because of [its] segregationist policy, so the school changed it. Blacks could be accepted if they were married to other Blacks, or if they promised not to date or marry outside their race . . .

"By the time of the Supreme Court case, a decade later, the number of Blacks attending the school was less than a dozen, making the ratio of whites to blacks about 550 to one.

“From the vantage point of the Solicitor General's office, the legal issue in the Bob Jones case was routine. It was a tax question.”
(P. 53)

As one unpersuaded skeptic points out regarding the Mormon Church’s unpersuasive denials over its threatened tax-exempt status:

”If the IRS had never threatened the LDS church's tax exempt status, why was Lee arguing over it and race with the IRS on the Church's behalf?”

Another understandable doubter observed:

"The only thing he [Olsen] stated is that the Church never was 'threatened' by the Government, NOT that the Church wasn't worried that such a thing *could* happen and was watching court rulings [like the one that was occurring in Wisconsin] to see if they could continue discriminating against [Black] members.

"Yes, it is possible to lose tax-exempt status for discrimination--Bob Jones University lost it once for its interracial dating policy."


http://www.lds-mormon.com/taxes_priesthood.shtml
_____


An Insider Source Within the Mormon Church Confirmed That Fear of Losing Its Tax-Exempt Status Helped Drive LDS, Inc. to Abandon Its Anti-Black Priesthood Ban

Writing in their article, “Death of the Anti-Black Doctrine,” Jerald and Sandra Tanner recount what they discovered concerning the Mormon Church’s tax-driven disavowal of its racist teachings:

”. . . [W]e . . . learned from a source within the [Mormon] Church that Church leaders were very concerned that they were going to lose their tax exempt status on property they own in the United States.

“In the months just prior to the revelation, Church leaders were carefully watching developments in a case in Wisconsin in which an organization was about to lose its tax exempt status because of racial discrimination.

“The Church leaders finally became convinced that the tide was turning against them and that they would lose their tax exempt status in Wisconsin and eventually throughout the United States because of their doctrine of discrimination against Blacks. . . .

“[I]t may very well have been the ‘straw that broke the camel's back.’


(Jerald and Sandra Tanner, “Death of the Anti-Black Doctrine,” The Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue No. 41, December 1979)

http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/black_2.htm
_____


A Reported Warning to Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball from U.S. President Jimmy Carter

According to one source, amid mounting pressures for the Mormons to join the 20th century, the Chief Executive of the United States did some arm twisting of his own.

”Kimball's announcement [reversing the LDS anti-Black priesthood ban] coincided with events which were adversely affecting the Mormon Church.

“For a period of time immediately prior to Kimball's declaration, several major universities, had announced that until such time as the Mormon Church reversed its policy of racial discrimination, they would no longer take part in athletic events in which BYU participated.

“More importantly though, approximately two weeks prior to Kimball's surprising declaration, President Jimmy Carter had phoned Kimball and informed him that the IRS was seriously considering removing the Mormon Church's tax exempt status unless changes were made in their policy of discrimination.”


http://www.unlimitedglory.org/txtmormon3.htm
_____


Not-So-Secret Combinations: Consumer Boycotts, Vacation Detours, NAACP Lawsuits, ACLU Threats, Advice from Paid Professional Consultants--and Pressure from the IRS

At the time the Mormon Church relented and reversed its anti-Black doctrine, societal and governmental forces were converging to bring it to its wobbly white and delightsome knees:

” . . . [A]nti-Mormons urged for boycotts of recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the cancellation of vacations to Utah.

“The NAACP initiated several lawsuits against Mormon Boy Scout troops, charging that Church policy was foisting racism on minority Scouts. . . . “

“Several professional consulting firms which the Church had previously hired for other matters suggested to Church leaders that they reconsider the status of Blacks in the Mormon Church as part of a major overhaul of church policy. . . .”

“Worst of all, the IRS suggested that the racial policies of the Mormon Church might justify a suspension of its tax-exempt status.”


(Lorraine Hewlett, “The Second Great Accomodation,” board, 17 June 2004)

http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/
_____


Mike Schreib, pastor of the Pionner Baptist Bible Church in Ontario, California, in an article entitled, “Mormonism: A Religion for Dumb White People,” further lays out the legal hurdles facing a beseiged Mormon Church in danger of taking a haymaker tax hit to the chin:

”In early 1978, the Mormon Church found itself suffering from a massive news media campaign criticizing their attitudes towards blacks and nonwhites. Allegations of discrimination and racism by such groups as the NAACP and ACLU were directed against the LDS Church, and rightly so.

"The Mormon leadership began to sweat.

“If things progressed badly for them, they feared losing large numbers of their members who saw the Church as a White supremacist haven, and were willing to tell the media about it.

"Even worse, they feared losing their federal tax exempt status from the IRS; a loss that would have devastated their financial empire.

THE SOLUTION[:]

“On June 8, 1978, Mormon President and prophet, Spencer W. Kimball announced to the world a new “Official Declaration” from the Lord.

"Suddenly, he claimed, “...all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE OR COLOR.”
(original emphasis)

http://www.believers.net/english/belief/mormon/mormon.htm
_____


Another skeptic of the Mormon Church’s true motivations in jettisoning its anti-Black doctrine notes that when Kimball announced his “revelation:”

”No indication was given if that ‘revelation’ was prompted by the Church accountants who showed the hierarchy what the tax bill would be and strongly suggested that a revelation would be forthcoming.”

http://prophetsplace.typepad.com/testimony/2005/week37/
_____


The cult monitoring group, “Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance” offers a broad overview of the increasing governmental pressures being brought to bear on the Mormon Church to abandon its racist doctrines and practices toward Blacks:

”More federal political pressure was felt by the [Mormon] Church in the 1970s over the Church's institutionalized racism.

"The Pearl of Great Price limited the advancement within the Church by Blacks or by persons with Black ancestors. (Higher levels in the priesthood were permitted for Australian aboriginal males, Polynesian men, etc.). . . .

“The U.S. Internal Revenue Service threatened [the] LDS's tax exempt status.

"There was a groundswell of opinion against racism by many Americans who recognized the centuries of injustice against Afro-Americans.

"Additional opposition came from sports groups which threatened to cancel events with Brigham Young University.

"Anti-Mormon religious groups promoted boycotts of Church businesses and of Utah tourism.

"The Church received a new revelation from God in [June] 1978 . . . which abolished racism within the Church. “


http://www.xploreheartlinks.com/latterdaysaints.htm

Hallelujah!
____


Conclusion: Saving Mormonism's Tax-Exempt Bacon with a Touch of Revelation

The California-based Christian Research Institute Journal sums up the LDS Church’s financially-footed flip-flop on its anti-Black doctrine, in the coldest of cold cash terms.

Writes Latayne C. Scott in “Mormonism and the Question of Truth:”

”LDS leaders . . . perceived threats in both the outcome of a recent court case on racial discrimination and in the possibility of an IRS review of the Church's tax-exempt status.

“So, in a tersely-worded statement (a far cry from earlier revelations, which began with 'Thus saith the Lord') the Church announced that Blacks were suddenly eligible for the priesthood it had denied them for almost 150 years.”


http://www.douknow.net/mormonstruth.htm
_____


Praise the Lord and pass the tax exemption.
topic image
Opening The Windows Of Tax Exemption Through Black Priesthood Power
Thursday, Feb 9, 2006, at 01:27 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Almost Down for the Count–The Mormon Church’s Brush with a Federal Knock-Out Punch Over Its Anti-Black Doctrine

What are to be made of reports that, circa 1978, the Mormon Church was in danger of losing its federal tax-exempt status due to its racially-discriminatory policies targeted against Blacks?

Predictably, true-believing Mormons have never been willing to admit that their Church was at one time had its back against the Internal Revenue Service ropes, where it was close to being stripped of its tax-exempt status due to its anti-Black doctrine--and barely managed to dance away from a federal government knock-out only by abandoning its officially-sanctioned bigotry.

GONG!!

There's the final bell.

Time to examine the scorecard.
_____


The Official Mormon Cult Claim: Alleged Threats of Federal Tax-Exempt Revocation Had Absolutely Nothing To Do with Black Men Belatedly Getting the Priesthood

Speaking for the Mormon Church’s Public Affairs Department in response to accusations about its suspicious reversal of its long-standing anti-Black priesthood doctrine, LDS spokesman Bruce L. Olsen flatly denied that the Church’s decision to grant priesthood authority to Black men was in any way related to fear of losing federal tax exempt status.

With a straight face, Olsen asserted:

”It's one thing to distort history, quite another to invent it. Kathy Erickson . . . claims that the federal government threatened the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with its tax-exempt status in 1978 because of the Church's position regarding Blacks and the priesthood.

“We state categorically that the federal government made no such threat in 1978 or at any other time. The decision to extend the blessings of the priesthood to all worthy males had nothing to do with federal tax policy or any other secular law.

"In the absence of proof, we conclude that Ms. Erickson is seriously mistaken.”


(Bruce L. Olsen, “Distorted History,” in "Public Forum," Salt Lake Tribune, 5 April 2001)

http://www.lds-mormon.com/taxes_priesthood.shtml
_____


(Interestingly enough, a former missionary who served under Olsen-- when the latter was his mission president--made the following observation about both the Mormon Church’s decision to reverse course on Black priesthood and Olsen:

”If it was tax considerations and liberal Jimmy Carter that made the Church abandon institutionalized racism, I can understand why the Church is now so Republican.

”[By the way,] Bruce Olsen was my [mission president] and is a great guy. He does have an impossible job representing the Church on PR issues. Like a Tobacco executive in charge of expounding on the health benefits of tobacco, he has his work cut out for him.”


(“Interesting stuff,” RfM post by “activejackmormon,” 7 February 2006)
_____


Other Mormon apologists have also emphatically denied that the LDS Church was pressured into rescinding its anti-Black priesthood doctrine by federal officials holding the sword of tax exemption revocation over its white and delightsome head.

Darrick Evenson, for instance, solemnly testified:

”There was really very little external pressure on the Church after 1976 regarding [the Blacks and the priesthood] issue.

“The Church has been very open as to what inspired the Brethren to ask the LORD for a rescinding of the Priesthood ban.

"They claim it was not external or internal pressure, but rather the exceeding faith of the Negro and Mulatto Saints, which inspired them to petition the LORD.”
(original emphasis)

http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/q16.htm
____


Color It Contrary: The Case of Mormon U.S. Solicitor General Rex Lee

Reacting to Mormon mouthpiece Olsen’s dubious claims, Gary Anderson, in a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, countered:

"I was quite surprised by LDS PR man Bruce Olsen's attack . . . regarding the Mormon Church's motivations for abandoning its anti-Black doctrine . . . .

“His bold assault is particularly amazing in light of the fact that history ‘distortion’ and ‘invention’ have been trademarks of Mormonism since its inception. Of course, the risk in Mr. Olsen's gallant tossing of the gauntlet is that someone might just pick it up.

“For example, it didn't take much investigation to discover that in 1981 the Solicitor General of the United States, Rex Lee, a Mormon, recused himself from a case against Bob Jones University.

“In that case, the U.S. government was threatening to revoke Bob Jones University's tax-exempt status because of its racist policy of prohibiting interracial dating.

"When asked why he took himself off the case, Mr. Lee explained that previously when representing the Mormon church in a similar case, he had argued that the church should retain its tax-exempt status despite its racist policies and felt conflicted from arguing an opposing view in the Bob Jones case. (see, The Tenth Justice, [by] Lincoln Caplan, Knopf, 1987, p. 51, note 2 . . . p. 293).

“If the [Mormon] Church's tax-exempt status was never threatened by the U.S. government because of its racist policies, why was Mr. Lee making such an argument, presumably in an era before 1978?

“Given Lee's explanation, Olsen's ‘categorical’ assertion that federal tax law was never a motivating factor in the church's 1978 change in racial policy rings disingenuous. One thing true history teaches us is that secrecy breeds dishonesty.

“It's fairly easy for Mr. Olsen to hide behind the tightly secured vaults in the Church Office Building and demand proof. If he was a true knight, he would throw open the doors to the vault and invite inquiring minds in to examine the minutes of meetings held by church leaders in the months and days leading up to the 'revelation,' so we might decide for ourselves the Church's actual motivation for the change.

"What's that you say, Mr. Olsen? Salamander got your tongue?"


(Gary Anderson, Springfield, Virginia, letter to the editor, Salt Lake Tribune, 22 April 2001)

http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/
_____


In the book to which Anderson refers, author Caplan notes, in fact, that U.S. Solicitor General/Mormon Lee (who would eventually become president of BYU) recused himself from the case of Bob Jones v. IRS, wherein the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious schools which practice racial discrimination could be constitutionally stripped of federal tax exempt protection.

Lee, writes Caplan, bowed out of the case because Lee had previously petitioned the IRS for tax exempt refuge in behalf of the racially-discrimnatory Mormon Church.

Lee, noted Caplan, begged off because, given his previous advocacy for the color-bound Mormons, he now considered it improper for him to argue in behalf of the IRS against color-bound Bob Jones University.

From Caplan’s book:

”Rex Lee . . . who had been sworn in as Solicitor General seven months before [the Bob Jones brief was filed in 1982], had once represented the Mormon Church when it faced a problem like Bob Jones's and, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he had taken himself off the case.” (p. 50)

“In 1970, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that Bob Jones no longer qualified for tax-exempt status because of [its] segregationist policy, so the school changed it. Blacks could be accepted if they were married to other Blacks, or if they promised not to date or marry outside their race . . .

"By the time of the Supreme Court case, a decade later, the number of Blacks attending the school was less than a dozen, making the ratio of whites to blacks about 550 to one.

“From the vantage point of the Solicitor General's office, the legal issue in the Bob Jones case was routine. It was a tax question.” (p. 53)


As one unpersuaded skeptic points out regarding the Mormon Church’s unpersuasive denials over its threatened tax-exempt status:

”If the IRS had never threatened the LDS Church's tax exempt status, why was Lee arguing over it and race with the IRS on the Church's behalf?”

Another understandable doubter observed:

"The only thing he [Olsen] stated is that the Church never was 'threatened' by the Government, NOT that the Church wasn't worried that such a thing *could* happen and was watching court rulings [like the one that was occurring in Wisconsin] to see if they could continue discriminating against [Black] members.

"Yes, it is possible to lose tax-exempt status for discrimination--Bob Jones University lost it once for its interracial dating policy."


http://www.lds-mormon.com/taxes_priesthood.shtml
_____


It should be pointed out here that although Lee recused himself from the Bob Jones case, the reasons why he did so are not universally agreed upon.

As one contributor on the RfM board has noted:

”It has been stated that he did this because he had been previously involved in a discrimination case involving the Mormon Church. . . .

“He [Lee] had been the dean of the BYU Law School which was one of the schools that would have been affected by the Bob Jones decision. That also would have been a reason to recuse himself. In 1986-87 Rex Lee did argue the CORPORATION OF PRESIDING BISHOP v. AMOS, 483 U.S. 327 [1987] case and did not feel it was a conflict.”


(“What we DO know about the 1978 ‘revelation,’” RfM post by “nao crer,” nao_crer@yahoo.com, 8 February 2006; and idem, “Re: We do the best we can with the sources currently available,” RfM post, 8 February 2006)
_____


The Issue of Tax-Exempt Status, As Applied to the Mormon Church

In order to understand what was at stake for the Mormon Church in regard to possibly losing its tax-exempt status due to its racial bias against Black men, it is important to understand what kind of tax-exempt protection the LDS Church enjoyed.

Again, reference is made to the same poster most recently quoted. This observer also identifies himself as “hold[ing] a CPA in the state of Utah and a Masters in Accounting,” adding that he received his CPA “in 1981, which is in the same time frame [as the Mormon Church reversal of its anti-Black priesthood doctrine].”

He further observes that “[t]he IRS law concerning non-profit organizations has not substantially changed since the inception.”

He then goes on to explain how educational non-profit organizations and religious non-profit organizations “are treated differently:”

”In the U.S., the . . . IRS grants non-profit status to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious organizations. This is of tremendous financial benefit.

“Meanwhile, clergy and other employees are guaranteed free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They are free to voice their opinions and beliefs, and advocate changes to legislation . . . The tax exempt status of [their churches is] not threatened [by doing so].

“Religious groups can promote a stand on other similar ‘hot’ religious topics . . .

“They are even allowed by the IRS to contribute small amounts of money and resources to the fight for changes in legislation.

“In the words of the IRS regulations:’No substantial part of (church) activities (may consist of) carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.’ Unfortunately, the term ‘substantial’ is not defined precisely in the Service's regulations.”


(“What we DO know about the 1978 ‘revelation,’” RfM post by “nao crer,” 8 February 2006; and idem, “Corporate Soles–IRS andamp; Bob Jones University,” RfM post, 8 February 2006)
_____


The Mormon Church Had Good Reason to Fear Revocation of Its Federal Tax-Exempt Status, in Light of the Bob Jones Decision

The LDS Church which, as a tax-exempt organization, practiced notorious racial discrimination against Blacks, was most likely notified of the Jones decision by the federal government and would have undoubtedly become concerned about losing its tax-exempt status.

As one contributor observed:

”A lot of tax-exempt organizations were worried during the Bob Jones case about losing their exempt status over discriminatory policies, according to my statutory law professor. . . .

“The Supreme Court decided the Bob Jones case in the ‘80s, at which point the federal government (under Reagan) was no longer behind the IRS's interpretation of ‘charitable organization’ defined as excluding those promoting bad public policies, like racism, but Bob Jones still lost in the Court.

“The controversy started years before when the IRS sent Bob Jones a notice that they were no longer tax exempt. Whether the Mormon Church received such a notice from the IRS, they would have been well aware of the situation with Bob Jones long before the Supreme Court case, as most non-profits apparently were.”


(“Aphrodite,” RfM post, 7 February 2005)
_____


Indeed, in all probability the Mormon Church was notified by the federal government of the potential ramifications it faced in the wake of the Jones decision:

“The IRS was putting pressure on private schools to stop discrimination with the U.S. vs. Bob Jones University.

“This ruling would directly affect BYU, Ricks, CCH [Church College of Hawaii] and other U.S. Mormon-owned schools.

“These schools are organized under separate non-profit corporations which are owned by the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. . . . [T]he Bob Jones University case was directed at educational non-profits. This would have affected the [Mormon Church], but not the core corporation.”


Why, and how, would this have affected the Mormon Church? The answer lies in the tax-exempt status of its privately-owned schools:

”Based on court documents, BYU, CCH, and Ricks were probably notified . . . [since] [t]his affected educational 501(c)(3) organizations.”

How the Bob Jones case, specifically, would have impacted BYU is explained as follows:

”The Bob Jones case was concerning a university and discrimination by the university. BYU is a separate 501(c)(3) corporation and there was a risk of losing its tax exempt status for the same reason as in the Bob Jones case.

“BYU received government research funds and participated in sporting events governed by the Amature Sports Act. It is an educational non-profit rather than a religious non-profit.”

”Religious organizations are allowed to discriminate. There are early rulings on this, but in 1987 the Mormon Church was directly involved in such a case. In CORPORATION OF PRESIDING BISHOP v. AMOS, 483 U.S. 327 (1987), it was affirmed that a religious organizations can discriminate in hiring under section 702 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

”Religions have always been able to limit their membership to any group. There are many examples of religious organizations that limit their membership. . . .

”Religions could always do whatever they want as long as they were not taking public money.”


Not only is the Mormon Church a registered 501 (c)(3) organization, it is a racially discriminatory one.

For racist organizations such as the Mormon Church:

Corporate Sole is the safest organization for a racist 501(c)(3). . . . The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is a Corporate Sole.”

Just how the Bob Jones ruling affected private schools like BYU was made clear in a federal court ruling that denied tax-exempt status to private schools.

These rulings undoubtedly would have given the racially-discriminatory Mormon Church serious pause about its own standing before the federal government on the matter of continued tax-exemption protection:

“On January 12, 1970, a three-judge District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the IRS from according tax-exempt status to private schools in Mississippi that discriminated as to admissions on the basis of race.( Green v. Kennedy, 309 F. Supp. 1127, appeal dism'd sub nom. Cannon v. Green, 398 U.S. 956 [1970]).

“Thereafter, in July 1970, the IRS concluded that it could ‘no longer legally justify allowing tax-exempt status [under 501(c)(3)] to private schools which practice racial discrimination.’ ( IRS News Release, July 7, 1970, reprinted in App. in No. 81-83, p. A235).

“At the same time, the IRS announced that it could not ‘treat gifts to such schools as charitable deductions for income tax purposes [under 170].’ (Ibid) By letter dated November 30, 1970, the IRS formally notified private schools, including those involved in this litigation, of this change in policy, ‘applicable to all private schools in the United States at all levels of education.’” (emphasis added)" (See id., at A232).

“BYU, Ricks and CCH probably received this letter.”


Why the Mormon Church, burdened as it was with its anti-Black priesthood doctrine, would have been concerned about losing its federal tax-exempt status was made abundantly clear in the district court’s ruling:

“On June 30, 1971, the three-judge District Court issued its opinion on the merits of the Mississippi challenge (Green v. Connally, 330 F. Supp. 1150, summarily aff'd sub nom. Coit v. Green, 404 U.S. 997 [1971]). That court approved the IRS's amended construction of the Tax Code.

“The court also held that racially discriminatory private schools were not entitled to exemption under 501(c)(3) and that donors were not entitled to deductions for contributions to such schools under 170. The court permanently enjoined the Commissioner of [461 U.S. 574, 579] Internal Revenue from approving tax-exempt status for any school in Mississippi that did not publicly maintain a policy of nondiscrimination.

”The IRS's 1970 interpretation of 501(c)(3) was correct. It would be wholly incompatible with the concepts underlying tax exemption to grant tax-exempt status to racially discriminatory private educational entities. Whatever may be the rationale for such private schools' policies, racial discrimination in education is contrary to public policy. Racially discriminatory educational institutions cannot be viewed as conferring a public benefit within the above 'charitable' concept or within the congressional intent underlying 501(c)(3).( pp. 592-596).

”The government's fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places on petitioners' exercise of their religious beliefs. Petitioners' asserted interests cannot be accommodated with that compelling governmental interest, and no less restrictive means are available to achieve the governmental interest pp. 602-604).

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=USandamp;vol=461andamp;invol=574 "
_____
andnbsp;

This key information pointing, as it does, to the real vulnerablity Mormon Church-owned private schools faced with regard to having their tax-exempt status removed by the federal government because of the LDS Church's racially discriminatory practices was completely ignored by LDS spokesman Bruce Olsen. Worse still, Olsen grossly misrepresented the facts.

As Olsen's inartful dodging demonstrates, Mormon Church spokesmen are akin to diplomats, in that both are sent forth to lie in behalf of the organizations they represent:

"[Olsen's] . . . quote . . . was consistent with the [Mormon Church's] use of half truth. [His] statement . . . only addressed the Church as a religious organization. He was not addressing the related issue of the Mormon owned schools. [Again, quoting Olsen:]

"'It's one thing to distort history, quite another to invent it. Kathy Erickson . . . claims that the federal government threatened the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with its tax-exempt status in 1978 because of the Church's position regarding Blacks and the priesthood.

"'We state categorically that the federal government made no such threat in 1978 or at any other time. The decision to extend the blessings of the priesthood to all worthy males had nothing to do with federal tax policy or any other secular law.' [end quote]

"The [Mormon Church] was not threatened directly; however, their wholly-owned schools were threatened. The financial ramifications in conjunction with the possible political embarrassment made an untenable situation."


(“BYU (Edited),” RfM post by “nao crer,” 7 February 2006; “Educational nonprofits,” idem, RfM post, 8 February 2006; “What we DO know about the 1978 ‘revelation,’” idem, RfM post, 8 February 2006; and idem, "I appreciate your thanks," RfM post, 9 February 2006)
_____



An Insider Source Within the Mormon Church Confirmed That Fear of Losing Its Tax-Exempt Status Helped Drive LDS, Inc. to Abandon Its Anti-Black Priesthood Ban

Writing in their article, “Death of the Anti-Black Doctrine,” Jerald and Sandra Tanner recount what they discovered concerning the Mormon Church’s tax-driven disavowal of its racist teachings:

”. . . [W]e . . . learned from a source within the [Mormon] Church that Church leaders were very concerned that they were going to lose their tax exempt status on property they own in the United States.

“In the months just prior to the revelation, Church leaders were carefully watching developments in a case in Wisconsin in which an organization was about to lose its tax exempt status because of racial discrimination.

“The Church leaders finally became convinced that the tide was turning against them and that they would lose their tax exempt status in Wisconsin and eventually throughout the United States because of their doctrine of discrimination against Blacks. . . .

“[I]t may very well have been the ‘straw that broke the camel's back.’”


(Jerald and Sandra Tanner, “Death of the Anti-Black Doctrine,” The Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue No. 41, December 1979)

http://www.xmission.com/~country/reason/black_2.htm
_____


A Reported Warning to Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball from U.S. President Jimmy Carter

According to one source, amid mounting pressures for the Mormons to join the 20th century, the Chief Executive of the United States did some arm twisting of his own.

”Kimball's announcement [reversing the LDS anti-Black priesthood ban] coincided with events which were adversely affecting the Mormon Church.

“For a period of time immediately prior to Kimball's declaration, several major universities, had announced that until such time as the Mormon Church reversed its policy of racial discrimination, they would no longer take part in athletic events in which BYU participated.

“More importantly though, approximately two weeks prior to Kimball's surprising declaration, President Jimmy Carter had phoned Kimball and informed him that the IRS was seriously considering removing the Mormon Church's tax exempt status unless changes were made in their policy of discrimination.”


http://www.unlimitedglory.org/txtmormon3.htm
_____


Providing possible credence to the claim of a purported phone call from President Carter to President Kimball (in which the former allegedly warned the latter that the Mormon Church’s tax-exempt status was in danger of being removed unless it jettisoned its racially discriminatory practice of banning Blacks from the priesthood), are numerous indicators that a Carter-Kimball line of personal communication did, in fact, already exist around the time that the LDS Church revoked its anti-Black priesthood ban.

One piece of tantalizing evidence indicating a close relationship between Carter and Kimball comes from Carter’s White House daily diary entry dated 11 March 1977, in which it is noted that Carter met with Kimball for 21 minutes, although the details of their discussion were not specified.

http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.org/documents/diary/1977/d031177t.pdf
_____


A photograph of their White House encounter was actually captured on film.

As one observer noted:

”According to the President Carter Library, President Kimball and Jimmy Carter met on 03/11/1977. [T]his would be in the right time frame.

“And a good search revealed the actual photograph–at lds.org.

http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/presidents/images/presidents/SWK_JCarter_4018_14_tn.jpg


(“According to the President Carter Library,” RfM post by “CLee the Anti-Mormon,” 8 February 2006)
_____


Edward Kimball, in his biographical work, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball, reports that President Kimball received a phone call from President Carter the same year of their White House meeting:

”In 1977, President Kimball and Marion G. Romney were attending a stake conference in Filmore, Utah. The White House telephone operator tracked President Kimball down and said that President Jimmy Carter wished to speak to him.

“Spencer was at the pulpit speaking, so President Romney took the call. President Carter was preparing to speak at a Baptist convention about missionary work and asked many questions about the Mormon program: How many missionaries? What salary do they receive? How long do they serve? Where do they come from? Where are they sent? He complimented the Church on an inspired program and asked that he be sent additional information."


http://www.meridianmagazine.com/books/051110stride.html
_____


Five months before the Mormon Church abandoned its priesthood prohibition against Black males, Carter was the invited guest of the LDS Church at a Salt Lake City event celebrating the family.

Carter’s participation in those festivities are described on the Mormon Church’s official website:

"On 27 January . . . (1978), President Jimmy Carter of the United States was invited by . . . [the Mormon] Church to the All-American Family Week held in Salt Lake City.

“After the meeting, President Carter said that attending the Family Week was a most pleasurable experience for him. He also praised the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for launching the welfare and community services programs. He remarked, ‘If these programmes can be extended to all states in the nation, my job as the president will be much easier.’”


http://www.lds.org.hk/english/local_church_history/local_church_html/local_history_8.htm
_____


When Kimball eventually announced the Mormon Church’s reversal of its anti-Black priesthood ban, Carter again contacted him, this time by written correspondence.

According to the article, “The LDS Church and African-Americans: THE PRIESTHOOD BAN:”

“Jimmy Carter, then-president of the United States, wrote President Kimball, ‘I welcome today your announcement. . . . I commend you for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine. This announcement brings a healing spirit to the world and reminds all men and women that they are truly brothers and sisters.’”

http://www.ldshistory.net/1990/embry.htm
_____


In the Mormon publication, Meridian Magazine, under the headline, “Hallelujah! The 25th Anniversary of the Revelation on Priesthood,” Maurine Jensen Proctor reports that Carter made this contact with Kimball in order to relay his approval of the Mormon Church’s reversal on its racist ban relative to Black membership in the LDS priesthood:

”President Jimmy Carter commended President Spencer W. Kimball for ‘compassionate prayerfulness and courage.’

http://www.ldsmag.com/articles/030606hallelujahprint.html
_____


If one is to believe Latter-day lore, Carter even suggested to Kimball that the Mormon Church’s reversal on its ban against Black priesthood acquisition was divinely inspired.

According to LDS writer Janet Brigham:

"Even President Jimmy Carter implied acceptance of the revelation's divine origin. A telegram from Carter to President Kimball said, "I commend you for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine."

http://www.sunstoneonline.com/magazine/searchable/Issue11.asp
_____


(Most of the above information on the Carter-Kimball connection comes from “Polygamy and Racism–a funny but sad story,” RfM post by “cricket,” cricket@salamandersociety.com, in which the author notes that he also “found some notes about Jimmy Carter and Spencer Kimball.” 7 February 2006)
_____


What the evidence of Carter-Kimball connective tissue shows is that that a line of interpersonal contact existed between the two men during the time period when the Mormon Church was considering, and eventually implementing, its priesthood change pertaining to Black men.

With Carter and Kimball enjoying such a comfortable and regular one-to-one communication around the time of the Mormon Church's anti-Black doctrinal flip-flop, this potentially opens another investigative trail for following up on claims that Carter also allegedly warned Kimball that continuation of the LDS priesthood ban against Blacks could endanger its tax-exempt position.
_____


Not-So-Secret Combinations: Consumer Boycotts, Vacation Detours, NAACP Lawsuits, ACLU Threats, Advice from Paid Professional Consultants--and Pressure from the IRS

At the time the Mormon Church relented and reversed its anti-Black doctrine, societal and governmental forces were converging to bring it to its wobbly white and delightsome knees:

” . . . [A]nti-Mormons urged for boycotts of recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the cancellation of vacations to Utah.

“The NAACP initiated several lawsuits against Mormon Boy Scout troops, charging that Church policy was foisting racism on minority Scouts. . . . “

“Several professional consulting firms which the Church had previously hired for other matters suggested to Church leaders that they reconsider the status of Blacks in the Mormon Church as part of a major overhaul of church policy. . . .”

“Worst of all, the IRS suggested that the racial policies of the Mormon Church might justify a suspension of its tax-exempt status.”


(Lorraine Hewlett, “The Second Great Accomodation,” 17 June 2004)

http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/
_____


Mike Schreib, pastor of the Pionner Baptist Bible Church in Ontario, California, in an article entitled, “Mormonism: A Religion for Dumb White People,” further lays out the legal hurdles facing a besieged Mormon Church in danger of taking a haymaker tax hit to the chin:

”In early 1978, the Mormon Church found itself suffering from a massive news media campaign criticizing their attitudes towards blacks and nonwhites. Allegations of discrimination and racism by such groups as the NAACP and ACLU were directed against the LDS Church, and rightly so.

"The Mormon leadership began to sweat.

“If things progressed badly for them, they feared losing large numbers of their members who saw the Church as a White supremacist haven, and were willing to tell the media about it.

"Even worse, they feared losing their federal tax exempt status from the IRS; a loss that would have devastated their financial empire.

“THE SOLUTION

“On June 8, 1978, Mormon President and prophet, Spencer W. Kimball announced to the world a new “Official Declaration” from the Lord.

"Suddenly, he claimed, “...all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE OR COLOR.”
(original emphasis)

http://www.believers.net/english/belief/mormon/mormon.htm
_____


Another skeptic of the Mormon Church’s true motivations in jettisoning its anti-Black doctrine notes that when Kimball announced his “revelation:”

”No indication was given if that ‘revelation’ was prompted by the Church accountants who showed the hierarchy what the tax bill would be and strongly suggested that a revelation would be forthcoming.”

http://prophetsplace.typepad.com/testimony/2005/week37/
_____


The cult monitoring group, “Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance” offers a broad overview of the increasing governmental pressures being brought to bear on the Mormon Church to abandon its racist doctrines and practices toward Blacks:

”More federal political pressure was felt by the [Mormon] Church in the 1970s over the Church's institutionalized racism.

"The Pearl of Great Price limited the advancement within the Church by Blacks or by persons with Black ancestors. (Higher levels in the priesthood were permitted for Australian aboriginal males, Polynesian men, etc.). . . .

“The U.S. Internal Revenue Service threatened [the] LDS's tax exempt status.

"There was a groundswell of opinion against racism by many Americans who recognized the centuries of injustice against Afro-Americans.

"Additional opposition came from sports groups which threatened to cancel events with Brigham Young University.

"Anti-Mormon religious groups promoted boycotts of Church businesses and of Utah tourism.

"The Church received a new revelation from God in [June] 1978 . . . which abolished racism within the Church. “


http://www.xploreheartlinks.com/latterdaysaints.htm

Hallelujah, indeed.
____


Memories of National News Accounts Indicating Mormon Church Fear of Losing Its Tax-Exempt Status Due to Its Anti-Black Priesthood Doctrine

News reports around the time that the Mormon Church reversed its anti-Black priesthood ban are said to have detailed the Church’s concern about losing its tax-exempt protection.

Writes one recollecting observer:

”I was not a member at the time but remember hearing all this discussion (in the late '70's) on the ‘national news’ about the LDS Church being threatened with losing its tax exempt status over discrimination issues.

“The topic was a hot one--and it blew over quickly when the ‘Blacks [and] the priesthood’ revelation was issued.

”I've been amazed that so few members of the Church seem to be aware that this was even an issue. There have to be some recorded media reports at the time or articles in Time and other news magazines that we can compile and reference.”


(“. . . [T]his is a great summary. [W]e need to keep working on this,” RfM post by “FCI,” fci.666@gmail.com, 8 February 2006)
_____


Conclusion: Saving Mormonism's Tax-Exempt Bacon with a Touch of Revelation

The California-based Christian Research Institute Journal sums up the LDS Church’s financially-footed flip-flop on its anti-Black doctrine, in the coldest of cold cash terms.

Writes Latayne C. Scott in “Mormonism and the Question of Truth:”

”LDS leaders . . . perceived threats in both the outcome of a recent court case on racial discrimination and in the possibility of an IRS review of the Church's tax-exempt status.

“So, in a tersely-worded statement (a far cry from earlier revelations, which began with 'Thus saith the Lord') the Church announced that Blacks were suddenly eligible for the priesthood it had denied them for almost 150 years.”


http://www.douknow.net/mormonstruth.htm
_____


Use the Blacks, praise the Lord and pass the tax exemption.
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One Of My Most Treasured Bits Of Mormon Memorablia Is
Thursday, Feb 16, 2006, at 09:16 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
One of my most treasured bits of Mormon memorablia is a fancy, leather-bound copy of the Book of Mormon which belonged to my grandfather, with his name engraved in goldleaf on its outside cover.

I eventually took the time to cross reference on its pages, in various colored pencils, dozens and dozens of links to its plagiarized sources.

In 2002, a Mormon inspirational outfit in Utah calling itself "The Living Scriptures" made a movie as part of its "Modern Prophets" series on the life and times of my grandfather, entitled "Ezra Taft Benson."

The movie jacket featured my grandfather's portrait backdropped by an American flag and the U.S. Capitol building, together with a hay wagon--and a copy of the Book of Mormon.

On the back of the movie jacket was the declaration that ETB was a "Statesman, Patriot and Prophet [who] . . . became the greatest advocate of the Book of Mormon of our day."

In the movie, my dad, Mark, played the role of ETB during his days as apostle and prophet.

Prior to the film's production, he asked me if I would send him the Book of Mormon that had belonged to my grandfather, for use in the making of the movie.

I politely informed him that I would not being doing because, given that I did not regard the Book of Mormon as a legitimate historical document, I did not want to contribute to making a film which falsely claimed that it was authentic.

(I was also privately concerned that if I lent the book to my TBM family, I would never get it back, even with its now-desecrated pages).

I still have it, since it never was shipped to the land northward. It sits on a shelf in my personal library, just above my collection of "anti-Mormon" materials. :)
topic image
"Hollow Men Filled With Straw:" Notice In The Mormon Church's Official Response To The Scientific Evidence Cited In The La Times Article On Lamanite DNA That
Monday, Feb 20, 2006, at 08:41 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
the LDS Church does three particularly revealing things:

1) It simply acknowledges that the DNA issues are extensive and complicated.

2) It offers references to DNA-related writings, but emphasizes that none of these writings constitute the Mormon Church's official position on the DNA question.

3) In providing those references, it cites only Mormon apologists who have written for Mormon publications or who have ventured forward with a pro-Mormon defense.
_____


From the Mormon Church's official "non-official" response:

"Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin. The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex.

"Those interested in a more detailed analysis of those issues are referred to the resources below.

"The following are not official Church positions or statements. They are simply information resources from authors with expertise in this area that readers may find helpful:

"'DNA and the Book of Mormon'
By: David M. Stewart, MD

"'Detecting Lehi's Genetic Signature: Possible, Probable, or Not?'
By: David A. McClellan

"'Nephi's Neighbors: Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations'
By: Matthew Roper

"'Swimming in the Gene Pool: Israelite Kinship Relations, Genes, and Genealogy'
By: Matthew Roper

"'Elusive Israel and the Numerical Dynamics of Population Mixing'
By: Brian D. Stubbs

"'Before DNA' (John L. Sorenson and Matthew Roper, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2003) Download PDF document (715 KB)

"'DNA and the Book of Mormon: A Phylogenetic Perspective' (Michael F. Whiting, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2003) Download PDF document (431 KB)

"'A Few Thoughts from a Believing Scientist' (John M. Butler, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2003) Download PDF document (169 KB)

"'Who Are the Children of Lehi?' (D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2003) Download PDF document (427 KB)

"'Does DNA Evidence Refute the Book of Mormon?' (Jeffrey D. Lindsay, Ph.D., 16 November 2003) Download PDF document (478 KB)"


(http://www.lds.org/newsroom/mistakes/0,15331,3885-1-18078,00.html)

******

In short, when it comes to the current questions surrounding Lamanite DNA, the Mormon Church is officially speechless, hapless, helpless, clueless, toothless, pointless, directionless, gutless, rudderless and, well, completely isolated from the scientific mainstream.

Perhaps more to the point:

When it comes to Lamanite DNA, the Mormon Church finds itself absolutely abandoned and on its own, with no place to turn (except inward) for support of its long-held, heretofore official, scripturally canonized and, now, totally repudiated position that Native Americans descended from Hebrews.

Where are the voices of the modern-day Mormon prophets on this one?

Poet T.S. Eliot speaks for them:

"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar."


http://www.cs.umbc.edu/~evans/hollow.html
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Joseph Mcconkie, Son Of Bruce R. Mcconkie, Continues In His Father's Legacy Of Hoodwinking Mormons About The Book "Mormon Doctrine"
Tuesday, Feb 21, 2006, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph McConkie, Son of Bruce R. McConkie, Claims That David O. McKay Gave His Father the Green Light to Republish Mormon Doctrine

Joseph McConkie, son of Bruce R. McConkie, claims that President David O. McKay authorized the re-publication of his father's highly controversial, unauthorized and error-ridden Mormon Doctrine (in a reworked, second edition form, which appeared in 1966), although it is a matter of record that McKay was so distressed when McConkie first published the book in 1958 without permission from the Church that McKay ordered it not be republished.

Joseph McConkie's assertions in this regard appeared in the form of responses to questions posed to him by the Mormon-friendly Meridian Magazine:

"Question: Is it true that President David O. McKay banned the book [Mormon Doctrine]?

Response: In January 1960, President McKay asked Elder McConkie not to have the book reprinted.

Question: How is it, then, that the book was reissued?

Response: On July 5, 1966, President McKay invited Elder McConkie into his office and gave approval for the book to be reprinted if appropriate changes were made and approved. Elder Spencer W. Kimball was assigned to be Elder McConkie's mentor in making those changes.

Question: Is this generally known?

Response: I don't think so. I don?t know how people would be expected to know this.

Question: Haven't you heard people say that Bruce McConkie had the book reprinted contrary to the direction of the First Presidency?

Response: Yes, but if they would think about it, that assertion does not make much sense. It could also be noted that Mormon Doctrine was reissued in 1966, and its author was called to the Quorum of the Twelve in 1972.

It takes a pretty good imagination to suppose that a man who flagrantly ignored the direction of the president of the Church and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would be called to fill a vacancy in that body.

Bruce McConkie would have died a thousand deaths before he would have disregarded the prophet?s counsel or that of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Question: How do you know President McKay directed your father to reprint Mormon Doctrine?

Response: My father told me that President McKay had so directed him. In addition to that, I am in possession of handwritten papers by my father affirming that direction.

Question: Did the first edition of Mormon Doctrine cause embarrassment to President McKay?

Response: Yes. The Catholic bishop in Salt Lake City, Bishop Hunt, communicated to President McKay his displeasure with the book and what it said about the Catholic church.

Question: So, at least originally, the First Presidency had concerns about Mormon Doctrine?

Response: Yes. One of those concerns was the title itself. There was some question about what business a Seventy had declaring the doctrine of the [Mormon] Church. It is interesting to note, however, that no suggestion was ever made that the title of the book be changed.

Question: Would it be fair to say that the First Presidency gave your father a good horsewhipping for some of the things he wrote in Mormon Doctrine?

Response: I think their concern was not as much with what he had written as that he had done it without seeking counsel and direction from those who presided over him. This was back in a day before the Brethren did much writing, and there was no established review system for what they did write.

As to their giving him 'a good horse whipping,' I think we can be confident that they were not shy in voicing their feelings. I have been told that when he met with the First Presidency, my father was invited to be seated but chose to remain standing. I also know that it was his practice (because he told me I was to do the same) when you are getting scolded, you offer no excuses--you just take it.

After the experience President Moyle observed, 'I've never seen a man in the Church in my experience that took our criticism--and it was more than criticism--but he took it better than anyone I ever saw. When we were through and Bruce left us, I had a great feeling of love and appreciation for a man who could take it without any alibis, without any excuses, and said he appreciated what we said to him.'"


http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=2519

******


In Certain Critical Respects, Not All of Joseph McConkie's Assertions Agree with What His Father Personally Told Me

The claims made by Joseph McConkie about the controversy surrounding the publication of his father's book, Mormon Doctrine, contradict in some key ways what his father directly told me in a personal, face-to-face meeting I had with him in 1980, the contents of which are revisited below:

A Personal Meeting with Bruce R. McConkie–In Which He Blatantly Lied to Me

When I was a student at Brigham Young University in the 1970s, I decided to do a research paper on the official LDS position on organic evolution. Much of my effort to write an accurate account on the subject involved repeated, and often frustrating, attempts to solicit answers from the Mormon Church hierachy.

During my research, I personally met and spoke with Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, in a visit I had with him at McConkie's private residence, 260 Dorchester Drive, in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, 7 July 1980, from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m.
____


Ezra Taft Benson Arranges the Meeting

On the day of my conversation with McConkie, I had visited earlier, for approximately three-and-a-half hours, with my grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, then-president of the Council of the Twelve, in his Salt Lake City apartment, located in the Bonneville Towers, 777 East South Temple.

During that discussion, my grandfather suggested that it might be good for me to speak directly with McConkie on this matter.

Still a true-believing Mormon at the time, I replied that I would consider it to be a great honor to meet a man whom I considered to be one of the greatest living scriptorians in the Church.

I added, however, that I did not want to be an imposition. My grandfather assured me that McConkie would be happy to speak with me, assuming that an appropriate time and place could be arranged.

I told my grandfather I would be available to meet with him anytime, anywhere, and would only want to take a few minutes of his time to clarify in my own mind some of the important questions that seemed (at least to me) to be in need of definitive answers regarding the official position of the Mormon Church on the theory of organic evolution.

At this point (approximately 3:45 p.m.), as I looked on, my grandfather went over to the phone and made a personal call to McConkie, who was still in his Church office.

After chatting with McConkie for a few minutes, my grandfather hung up and informed me that the meeting had been arranged for 5:30 that same afternoon, at McConkie's home.

Once the initial excitement had subsided somewhat, I expressed concern to my grandfather that, in the upcoming question-and-answer session with McConkie, I did not want to appear to be lacking faith and testimony in McConkie's divine calling and apostleship.

In particular, I was somewhat anxious that my inquiries, although sincere, might be misinterpreted and prove offensive to McConkie, who was known for his forthright, umcompromising views--which views appeared to some to reflect a certain degree of sternness and even harshness, when "laying down the line" in areas of Mormon Church doctrine.

My grandfather reassured me that McConkie was "a very gracious man," with sons my own age (I was a 26-year-old BYU student at the time). He encouraged me to be as frank with McConkie in my questioning as I had been with him.
_____


Close Encounters of the Bruce Kind

By coincidence, I had already planned to meet my father in downtown Salt Lake City after my visit with my grandfather and be driven to my parents' residence, where I was staying during summer vacation.

When I slid into the front seat of my father's car at 5:15 that afternoon and informed him of the scheduled meeting with McConkie in 15 minutes, he was pleasantly surprised. He offered to take me to McConkie's home, which I hoped he would do, since I had no other means of getting there in the few minutes remaining before the scheduled appointment.

As we drove to McConkie's home, I told my father that while I was certainly not adverse to having him sit in on my conversation with McConkie, I regarded the visit as a unique one-on-one opportunity to ask McConkie whatever questions I felt were necessary to provide a clearer understanding of Mormon doctrinal matters.

My father said he understood and offered to drop me off at McConkie's home, then return to pick me up after our visit was concluded. I did not feel that was necessary and suggested that we "play it by ear."

If McConkie invited both of us into his home, as I expected he would, I felt I would not be inhibited, as long as my father honored my request to be able to interact freely with McConkie, without interruption--no matter how well-intentioned that interruption might be.

McConkie greeted us warmly at the door, presenting an image quite different from the Bruce the Concrete-Hearted that I, and millions of others, had come to expect from his stiff-as-a-board-for-the-Lord Conference talks.

He was dressed in an open-necked yellow sports shirt, slacks and house slippers. (And all this time I thought he had been born in a dark blue suit).

He turned to me, grinned and asked if there was anything I did not want my father to hear during our conversation.

I said no, whereupon McConkie ushered us into his comfortable, sun-lit living room. My father and I sat on a sofa, approximately ten feet across from McConkie, who seated himself in a chair next to a lampstand on which rested his scriptures and some other papers.

His demeanor was relaxed and served to help put me at ease. The atmosphere throughout our conversation was open and friendly. McConkie encouraged me, on more than one occasion during our discussion, not to hesitate in asking whatever I wanted.

In keeping with my previous request, my father sat and listened silently.
_____


McConkie Manipulates and Misleads on His Mormon Doctrine

During our discussion, which focused primarily on the subject of the Mormon Church’s official position on organic evolution, attention turned briefly to the Roman Catholic Church.

McConkie had asserted to me that while the Mormon Church, institutionally and as a matter of official doctrine, opposed organic evolution, the Church was not going to say so because McConkie, told me, it did not want to pick fights with its vulnerable members.

He explained, "It's a matter of temporizing, of not making a statement to prevent the driving out of the weak Saints. It's a question of wisdom, not of truth."

He compared it to calling the Catholic Church "the Church of the Devil." He said while such a statement was true, one had to be careful about saying it, so as not to offend Catholics.

I asked McConkie why, in fact, his reference to the Roman Catholic Church as the "Church of the Devil" had been removed from the 2nd edition of his book, Mormon Doctrine.

McConkie insisted to me that it was excised not because it was not doctrinally sound but because it was too difficult for people to accept.

In essence, McConkie’s explanation for his original reference (as it appeared in the 1958 first edition of Mormon Doctrine) to the Roman Catholic Church as the "Church of the Devil" being expunged from in its subsequent 1966 re-publication was, he said, a matter of good manners and sensitivity--and had nothing to do with the theological truth of his claim.

At that point in my travels through Mormonism's maze of muck, I didn't know any better but to accept what McConkie told me as being factual.

The trouble was, McConkie’s smiling assertion turned out to be a bald-face lie.

It has been exposed as such by the emergence of documents which were generated at the highest levels of the Mormon Church during the swirl of controversy that erupted when Mormon Doctrine was first published.
____


McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine Was Never Accepted By the LDS Church President As Official Mormon Dogma

Faithful Mormons often cite McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine as an authoritative volume on official LDS doctrine.

However, its initial publication was not only unauthorized, but met by then-President David O. McKay and other General Authorities with both surprise and objection.

In the wake of its unapproved appearance, McKay directed that a review be made of the book’s contents and a report submitted to him, along with recommendations on how to deal with it problematic publication.
_____


A Confidential, Top-Level Analysis of McConkie's Mormon Doctrine Concluded That It Was Full of Misinformation, Insults and Unauthoritative Claims

An analysis of McConkie’s book was subsequently conducted by Apostles Marion G. Romney and Mark E. Petersen, wherein they noted the book’s numerous doctrinal errors, objectionable language, discourteous tone and questionable claims.

Recommendation was made that McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine not be republished, that it be repudiated and that in the future no book be published by any of the Brethren without first obtaining First Presidency approval.

McKay agreed with the suggestion that Mormon Doctrine not be republished and directed that restrictions be placed on future independent book publishing by the General Authorities.

The First Presidency also issued a private, face-to-face reprimand to McConkie, whereupon McConkie promised to behave.

Below are documents which include McKay’s officially-directed report on the book’s contents (authored by Apostle Romney), as well as excerpts from McKay’s contemporary office journal on the controversy surrounding the book and the resolution of the problems its publication had created for McKay and the Church.

(These documents were originally copied with permission of the LDS Church Archivist. The original Romney letter and its attached copy of the Mormon Doctrine manuscript are in the First Presidency’s Office. Reproductions of those copies are in my possession and–as are so many other damning evidences against the Mormon Church–now available on the Internet):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Bruce_R._McConkie
_____


Also cited below are letters authorized by McKay which were sent out to inquiring Church members after publication of McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, declaring that it and other books published by individual General Authorities did not represent the official position of the LDS Church.

(Copies of these letters are also in my possession, as well as available via the so-called "Mormon underground").

_____


Report from Marion G. Romney to David O. McKay

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Council of the Twelve
47 E. South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah

January 28, 1959 . . .


Dear President McKay:

This is my report on MORMON DOCTRINE, by Bruce R. McConkie, which on January 5, you asked me to read.

The book is a 776 page work which, in the words of the author, purports to be, ‘the first major attempt to digest, explain, and analyze all of the important doctrines of the kingdom . . . . . the first extensive compendium of the whole gospel–the first attempt to publish an encyclopedic commentary covering the whole field of revealed religion.’

‘For the work itself,’ the author assumes the ‘sole and full responsibility.’ (Exhibit I) (The exhibits cited in this report consist of printed pages from the book. The statements in point are underscored in red.)

Preparation of the volume has entailed much study and research. Its favorable reception evidences a felt need for such a treatise.

The author is an able and thorough student of the gospel. In many respects he has produced a remarkable book. Properly used, it quickly introduces the student to the authorities on most any gospel subject.

As to the book itself, notwithstanding its many commendable and valuable features and the author’s assumption of ‘sole and full responsibility’ for it, its nature and scope and the authoritative tone of the style in which it is written pose the question as to the propriety of the author’s attempting such a project without assignment and supervision from him whose right and responsibility it is to speak for the Church on ‘Mormon Doctrine.’ Had the work been authoritatively supervised, some of the following matters might have been omitted and the treatment of others modified. [emphasis added]

A. Reference to churches and other groups who do not accept ‘Mormon Doctrine’.

1. ‘Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,’ who sometimes refer to themselves as ‘Josephites’. (Exhibit II-1, pages 50, 141, 362)

2. ‘Christian Churches’ generally. (Exhibit II-2, pages 139, 455)

3. ‘Catholic Church’. (Exhibit II-3, pages 13, 66, 69, 129, 130, 216, 241, 314-15, 342, 346, 350, 422, 499, 511, 697) [emphasis added]

4. Communists and Catholics. (Exhibit II-4, pages 26-7, 131) [emphasis added]

5. Evolution and Evolutionists. (Exhibit II-5, pages 37, 77, 136, 180, 228, 238, 659)


B. Declaration as to ‘Mormon Doctrine’ on controversial issues.

1. ‘Pre-Adamites’. (Exhibit III-1, pages 17, 262)

2. Status of Animals and Plants in the Garden of Eden. (Exhibit III-2, pages 36, 234-35)

3. Meaning of the various accounts of Creation. (exhibit III_3, pages 157-8, 167-8)

4. Dispensation of Abraham. (Exhibit III-4, page 203)

5. Moses a translated being. (Exhibit III_5, pages 206, 445, 466, 727-8)

6. Origin of Individuality. (Exhibit III-6, page 404)

7. Defiling the priesthood. (Exhibit III-7, page 437)

8. Manner in which Jesus was Begotten. (Exhibit III-8, page 494)

9. Written sermons. (Exhibit III-9, pages 634-5, 716)

10. Resurrection of stillborn children. (Exhibit III-10, page 694)


C. Miscellaneous Interpretations (Exhibit IV)

Frequency of Administrations, page 22

Baptism in the ‘molten sea,’ page 98

II Peter 1:19, page 102

Paul married, page 112

Status of those ‘with Christ in His Resurrection', page 128

Consecration of oil, page 147

Councils and schools among the Gods, page 151

Limitations on Deity, page 154

Sunday not a proper day for family reunions, page 254

Geological changes at time of the deluge, page 268

The Holy Ghost a spirit man, page 329

Facing east in temples when giving the Hosanna Shout, page 337

Details on family prayer and asking the blessing on food, page 526

Women to be gods, page 551

Interpretations of the Doctrine and Covenants 93:1, page 581

Interpretation of "Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning," page 606

Status of little children in the celestial kingdom, page 607

Resumption of schools of the prophets, page 613

Time of beginning of seasons, page 616

Interpretation of III Nephi 12:20, page 618


D. Repeated use of the word ‘apostate’ and related terms in a way which to many seems discourteous and to others gives offense. (Exhibit V, pages 123, 125, 160, 169, 212, 223, 383, 538, 546, 548, 596)

Faithfully and Respectfully submitted,

[Signed]

Marion G. Romney

Enc.

P. S.

As per my letter to you of January 9, I have promised to contact Marvin Wallin, manager of Bookcraft Company, by the 9th of February about the 4,000 volume edition of MORMON DOCTRINE which he is holding.

I shall therefore seek to contact you about the matter near the end of next week.

Sincerely,

M. G. R."

_____


Office Journal of President David O. McKay

"THURSDAY, January 7, 1960

10:15 to 12:45 p.m. Re: The book–‘Mormon Doctrine’

The First Presidency met with Elders Mark E. Petersen and Marion G. Romney. They submitted their report upon their examination of the book ‘Mormon Doctrine’ by Elder Bruce McConkie.

These brethren reported that the manuscript of the book ‘Mormon Doctrine’ has not been read by the reading committee; that President Joseph Fielding Smith did not know anything about it until it was published. Elder Petersen stated that the extent of the corrections which he had marked in his copy of the book (1067) affected most of the 776 pages of the book. He also said that he thought the brethren should be under the rule that no book should be published without a specific approval of the First Presidency.

I stated that the decision of the First Presidency and the Committee should be announced to the Twelve.

It was agreed that the necessary corrections are so numerous that to republish a corrected edition of the book would be such an extensive repudiation of the original as to destroy the credit of the author; that the republication of the book should be forbidden and that the book should be repudiated in such a way as to save the career of the author as one of the General Authorities of the Church. It was also agreed that this decision should be announced to the Council of the Twelve before I talk to the author.

Elder Petersen will prepare an editorial for publication in the Improvement Era, stating the principle of approval of books on Church doctrine."
_____


"FRIDAY, January 8, 1960

11:55 to 12:15 p.m.

The First Presidency held a meeting. We decided that Bruce R. McConkie’s book, ‘Mormon Doctrine’ recently published by Bookcraft Company, must not be re-published, as it is full of errors and misstatements, and it is most unfortunate that it has received such wide circulation. It is reported to us that Brother McConkie has made corrections to his book, and is now preparing another edition. We decided this morning that we do not want him to publish another edition.

We decided, also, to have no more books published by General Authorities without their first having the consent of the First Presidency. (see January 7, 1960)."
_____


"WEDNESDAY, January 27, 1960

3:00 P. M. Conference with Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith re: Bruce R. McConkie’s book, ‘Mormon Doctrine’

At the request of the First Presidency, I called President Joseph Fielding Smith and told him that we are a unit in disapproving of Brother Bruce R. McConkie’s book, ‘Mormon Doctrine,’ as an authoritative exposition of the principles of the gospel.

I then said: ‘Now, Brother Smith, he is a General Authority, and we do not want to give him a public rebuke that would be embarrassing to him and lessen his influence with the members of the Church, so we shall speak to the Twelve at our meeting in the Temple tomorrow, and tell them that Brother McConkie’s book is not approved as an authoritative book and that it should not be republished, even if the errors (some 1,067) are corrected.’

Brother Smith agreed with this suggestion to report to the Twelve, and said, ‘That is the best thing to do.

I then said that Brother McConkie is advocating by letter some of the [one line of words partially cut off on bottom of the photocopied page of journal] . . . to letters he receives. Brother Smith said, ‘I will speak to him about that.’ I then mentioned that he is also speaking on these subjects, and Brother Smith said, ‘I will speak to him about that also.’

I also said that the First Presidency had decided that General Authorities of the Church should not publish books without submitting them to some member of the General Authorities, and President Smith agreed to this as being wise."

_____


"THURSDAY, January 28, 1960

8:30 to 9 a.m. Bruce R. McConkie’s Book

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency. I reported to my counselors that I had talked with President Joseph Fielding Smith about the decision that the book ‘Mormon Doctrine’ should not be republished and about handling the matter to avoid undermining Brother McConkie’s influence. President Smith agreed that the book should not be republished, and said he would talk with Brother McConkie. It was decided that the First Presidency should inform Brother McConkie before he learns of our decision from some other source, so Brother McConkie was asked to come into our meeting this morning.

When he arrived I informed him of the desire of the First Presidency with reference to his book not being republished, to which he agreed. The recommendation was also made that he answer inquiries on the subject with care. Brother McConkie said, ‘I am amenable to whatever you Brethren want. I will do exactly what you want. I will be as discreet and as wise as I can.’ In answering letters he said that he would express no views contrary to views which the First Presidency has expressed. He said that he would conform in every respect. . . .

10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple.

At Council meeting I reported to the Brethren our decision regarding Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s book ‘Mormon Doctrine,’ stating that it had caused considerable comment throughout the Church, and that it has been a source of concern to the Brethren ever since it was published. I said that this book had not been presented to anyone for consideration or approval until after its publication. I further said that the First Presidency have [sic] give it very careful consideration, as undoubtedly have some of the Brethren of the Twelve also, and that the First Presidency now recommend that the book be not republished; that it be not republished even in a corrected form, even though Brother McConkie mentions in the book that he takes all responsibility for it; and that it not be recognized as an authoritative book.

I said further that the question has arisen as to whether a public correction should be made and a addendum given emphasizing the [bottom line of photocopied page of journal cut off] . . . it is felt that that would not be wise because Brother McConkie is one of the General Authorities, and it might lessen his influence. The First Presidency recommend that the situation be left as it is, and whenever a question about it arises, we can answer that it is unauthoritative; that it was issued by Brother McConkie on his own responsibility, and he must answer for it.

I reported that the First Presidency had talked to Brother McConkie this morning, and he said he will do whatever the Brethren want him to do. He will not attempt to republish the book nor to say anything by letter, and if he answers letters or inquiries that he will answer them in accordance with the suggestions made by the Brethren, and not advocate those things concerning which question had been raised as contained in the book.

The Brethren unanimously approved of this.

I then said that the First Presidency further recommend that when any member of the General Authorities desires to write a book, that the Brethren of the Twelve or the First Presidency be consulted regarding it. While the author need not get the approval of these Brethren, they should know before it is published that a member of the General Authorities wants to publish a book. I said it may seem all right for the writer of the book to say, ‘I only am responsible for it,’ but I said ‘you cannot separate your position from your individuality, and we should like the authors to present their books to the Twelve or a Committee appointed.’ I asked the Brethren of the Twelve to convey this information to the other General Authorities. On motion, this became the consensus of the Council."

_____


Letters from McKay to Mormon Church Members Regarding McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine and Other Books Published by Individual General Authorities

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
47 E. South Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
David O. McKay, President

February 3, 1959

Dr. A. Kent Christensen
Department of Anatomy
Cornell University Medical College
1300 York Avenue
New York 21, New York

Dear Brother Christensen:

I have your letter of January 23, 1959 in which you ask for a statement of the Church’s position on the subject of evolution.

The Church has issued not official statement on the subject of the theory of evolution.

Neither ‘Man, His Origin and Destiny’ by Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, nor ‘Mormon Doctrine’ by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, is an official publication of the Church. . . .

Sincerely yours,

[signed]

David O. McKay
(President)"

_____


"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
47 East South Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah
David O. McKay
September 24, 1964

Dr. Lorenzo Lisonbee, Science Consultant
Phoenix Union High School System
District Adminstration Annex
2042 West Thomas Road
Phoenix, Arizona (85015)

Dear Dr. Lisonbee:

President McKay, who is recuperating at home under doctors’ orders from his recent illness, has asked me to acknowledge for him your letter of September 8, 1964.

I have been directed to say that individual General Authorities of the Church publish books on their own responsibility, the publishing of which is not regarded as Church approval of the books. The Church approves only books which have been authorized for publication by the General Authorities of the Church, such as the Standard Works of the Church and authorized textbooks adopted by official action of the Church for the Priesthood and the organizations fo the Church.

Sincerely yours,

[signed]

Clare Middlemiss
Secretary to:
President David O. McKay"

_____


Bruce R. and Joseph McConkie: A Father-Son Tag Team for Deception

Bruce R. McConkie never told me about any of this, the liar.

Then again, maybe he just forgot.

And perhaps his son, Joseph McConkie, has been a bit fuzzy in the memory department, as well.
topic image
Shhhh, Moroni. Can't You See My Brothers Are Sleeping?
Friday, Feb 24, 2006, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
Joseph Smith claims that when he was 17 years old, the angel Moroni repeatedly appeared to him one night in his small, upstairs, log cabin bedroom, keeping him up through the wee hours with his surprise drop-ins--during which time he bombarded the bewildered kid with directions to, and glorious information about, gold plates buried in a hill behind his house.

Yeah, right.

Joseph happened at the time to be sharing this bedroom of his (and the two beds in it) with five other brothers.

Wanna see how cramped the place was?

You couldn't move your foot or swing an elbow in your sleep without bumping into any angels or brothers who happened to be in that tiny room with you.

Take a look for yourself. Here's a photo:

http://lds.about.com/library/weekly/2003/aajosephs_house.htm
_____


Maybe that explains why Joe says Moroni stood at his beside, floating in the air--because there wasn't any room to sit on the bed.

But that doesn't make sense, either, because official Mormon propapanda paint-by-the-numbers art shows Joe sitting up in what looks like an uncrowded bed, where there seems to be plenty of room under the sheets--and where there's no sign of any of his five brothers:

http://www.lds.org/hf/art/display/0,16842,4218-1-4-116,00.html
_____


But God has not forsaken us in our moment of perplexity. We have a faithful explanation here.

Well, OK, not really an explanation.

Just a typical TBM testimony that defies explanation.

What else do faithful Mormons need, sleep-walking as they do through life, never raising an eyebrow, responding to stimuli or entertaining a conscious thought?

Susan W. Tanner, Young Wonen's General President, in a BYU Women's Conference talk entitled "When the Light Had Departed, I Went Home," recounts how she's been in Joe's stuffy little bedroom (during a personal pilgrammage which she had earnestly prepared for by reading faith-promoting rumors from Joe's slightly-off-the-bubble mom, Lucy Mack Smith)--and talks about how Joes's bros, with their 50 twitching toes, all somehow managed to sleep through the Big Mo Show:

"As I entered that small, humble log home, I felt its holiness. I could envision Joseph leaning on the fireplace pondering his visit from Heavenly Father and His Son. . . ."

http://ce.byu.edu/cw/womensconference/archive/2005/pdf/2005-SusanWTanner.pdf
_____


Hold on there, Sister.

Maybe he was leaning against the fireplace because Moroni kept waking him up and he couldn't go back to sleep.

Speaking of envisioning, did you try to envision Joseph and his brothers fighting, jockeying and squirming for the covers in two lumpy beds brimming with siblings?
_____


Sister Tanner proceeds to answer that question:

"I also went to the upstairs bedroom, shared by six brothers, where the angel Moroni came to Joseph in response to his penitent prayer."
_____


Hey, you didn't answer the question.

Answer this, then: What's with Joe's "penitent prayer?" What was he so intently, penitently praying about--where to find a good rock for his hat?

Sister Tanner, in yet another inspiring talk--this one entitled "Glad Tidings from Cumorah"--explains exactly what prompted the angel Moroni to come down through Joe's bedroom ceiling that night (without waking anyone but Joe, of course) in answer to prayer:

"When Joseph first met Moroni, he was just 17, the age of many of you young women."
_____


Yes, Joe did like young women around that age--16-year-old Fanny Alger. Probably praying for more like her.

Helen Mar Kimball . . .

Wait, Helen was only 14. Sorry, I digress.

You were saying, Sister Tanner?

"We know the very time and place. It was on the night of September 21, 1823, in an upstairs bedroom while five of his brothers slept. Joseph prayed that he 'might know of [his] state and standing before [God]' (Joseph Smith-History 1:29).

"Joseph felt inadequate and unworthy before God. He said he had not been 'guilty of any great or malignant sins,' but had fallen into 'foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth' (Joseph Smith-History 1:28), so he prayed for reassurance.

"I can identify with young Joseph's feelings, as I know many of you can. How often have each of us fallen to our knees with such feelings of inadequacy and need for divine reassurance?"

_____


Yeah, and how many of us are in the middle of being on our knees when a superhero angel pops in, gives out free advice on our guilt-trippin' youthful foolishness, but then makes us all feel better by handing us a map to buried treasure?

Geesh, Joe got all the luck . . .

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,567-1-426-18,00.html
____


But back to rock-a-bye, brothers.

C'mon, Sister Tanner. You're a fully-functioning mother in Zion, aren't you?

Do you really believe Joe's snoring sibs managed to REM-sleep their way through Moroni's repeated shaft-of-light visits to their sardine-sandwiched bedroom that night--or were they up going to the bathroom or maybe downstairs throwing logs on the fire or maybe on their 1823 folk magic version of Playstation that Joe had discovered during his treasure hunting adventures--and just happened to miss all the heavenly fireworks upstairs?

Or maybe they really were up there, tucked into bed, all crammed next to each other, but in a catatonic Kolobian state of suspended animation.

"Hi, fellas. This is Moroni speaking. You are getting sleepy, sleeeeeeepy . . . "
topic image
In Cold, Covered-Up Blood: The Unconfessed Criminal Legacy Of A Murdering, Lynched Benson
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, at 07:28 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
R.I.P., Charles Augustus Benson: Progenitor of Ezra Taft Benson and Company--Who Was Lynched for Murder

Questions have recently been raised on the Recovery from Mormonism board, as to the identity of a certain “Charles A. Benson” who was the target of an unceremonious necktie party at the hands of an enraged Logan, Utah mob in February of 1873, for having murdered a member of the family of the local sheriff.

For instance, a RfM poster reported that a “Mormon mob lynch[ed] Charles A. Benson for murder in Logan, Utah, under circumstances in which his LDS apostasy [was a] contributing factor. He [was the] son of former Cache Valley president, deceased apostle Ezra T. Benson, whose official biography states that ‘no further record of his life is available’ after Charles's endowment date. . . .”

("On this day in Mormon history, Feb. 18," post by "Baura," pay_lay_ale666@hotmail.com, on Recovery from Mormonism board, 18 February 2006, at http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-ag... )
_____


Indeed, noted historian D. Michael Quinn identifies Charles A. Benson as the individual who was hanged in Logan, Utah, on 18 February 1873, in what Quinn describes as a “religiously motivated killing," although Quinn minimally identifies the lynched man in the main text as merely the “apostate son of a deceased apostle.”

(D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1997], p. 258; see also, foonote 215 for Chapter 7, "Post-1844 Theocracy," p. 540).
_____


Another RfM poster speculated as to the relationship of said Charles A. Benson to, ahem, well, other Bensons:

”I may be wrong, but the Charles A. Benson that was lynched in Logan in 1872 [sic] by a Mormon mob for being an apostate . . . is probably Steve Benson’s some-odd great uncle . . . . It stands to reason that Steve Benson would have been hanged by an angry Mormon mob for apostasy had he lived back in those days.”

("120 years ago, Steve Benson would have been hanged by a Mormon Mob," post by "stuck," RfM board, 18 February 2006, at http://www.exmormon.org/boards... )
_____


Which prompted this RfM reply:

” . . . Steve would [first] have to murder the right person to qualify for his relative's treatment.”

("Re: 120 years ago, Steve Benson would have been hanged by a Mormon Mob," post by "Baura," RfM board, 18 February 2006, at http://www.exmormon.org/boards... )
____


For the record (since my grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, never informed the Mormon Church membership at large or his own family about it), yes, Charles Augustus Benson was the son of Brigham Young-appointed Apostle Ezra T. Benson--whose grandnephew, Ezra Taft Benson, became the 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
_____


The claim that “no further record” of Charles A. Benson is available after his endowment date is a bunch of unholy hooey, perpetrated by the Benson family and willing co-conspirators intent on fuzzing the facts.

So, let me stick my neck out here and, as they say, go for “the rest of the story.”
_____


Ezra T. Benson: Mormon Church Apostle Who Died Before His Son, Charles Augustus Benson, Was Lynched for Murder

OK, OK, Ezra T. Benson was a progenitor of mine who served as an apostle to Mormon Church president Brigham Young--and who died before his son, Charles Augustus Benson (who happened to have a serious criminal past) was hung by a mob of outraged citizens for murdering a relation of Logan's top lawman.

First, some basic background:

According to “The Ezra T. Benson Genealogical Society, Inc.”, Ezra T. Benson was “[m]ade [an] Apostle to the [Mormon] church” on 16 July 1846.

23 years later, on 3 September 1869, he “unexpectedly died,” meaning that “each [of his] wives had to provide for herself.” (All told, Ezra T. Benson reportedly had at least eight wives and some 35 children).

("The Family of Ezra T. Benson [1811–1869], Last update: 9 April 2005," at http://etb.bensonfamily.org)
_____


The death of Ezra T. Benson was dramatically described as being “like a flower cut down.” He died while treating a sick horse, “[as] he walked toward Lorin Farr’s house” in Ogden, Utah. In fact, he expired on the spot, where he reportedly “fell to the ground without warning.”

Another account also said he “dropped to the ground and to all appearances was dead, though they [meaning those with him at the time of his death] would continue their efforts to resuscitate him.”

Ezra T. Benson’s demise was blamed on “[o]verwork and the burden of worry . . . [which] had weakened his heart and brought on his death.“

To be precise, much of that anxiety had been precipitated by his inability to reach a settlement with the Central Pacific Railway over a grading contract.

(Donald Benson Alder and Elsie L. Alder, The Benson Family [Salt Lake City, Utah: Woodruff Printing, Inc., 1979], pp. 26-27, 24; John Henry Evans and Minnie Egan Anderson, Ezra T. Benson: Pioneer, Statesman, Saint [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News Press, 1947], pp. 355-56; and “The History of Ezra T. Benson,” at http://etb.bensonfamily.org/histories/etb-alder.htm)
_____


Charles Augustus Benson: Sired Son of Ezra T. Benson

Family records show that there were actually two sons fathered by Ezra T. Benson, each bearing the name of Charles Augustus Benson.

Now, as to which one ended up getting the noose:

The first Charles Augustus Benson was the first-born child of Ezra T. Benson and his first wife, Pamelia Andrus Benson. This Charles Augustus was born in Uxbridge, Worchester County, Massachusetts, on 26 September 1832, and died there on 13 October 1833.

According to the Benson family genealogical history, “[y]ears later, in his autobiography, Ezra T. Benson refers to this child as being named ‘Ezra Taft Benson.’”

(Alder and Alder, p. 38)
_____


The second Charles Augustus Benson--the one who ended up being strung up--was the third child of Ezra T. and Pamelia Andrus Benson and was born in Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois, on 3 July 1837. (Another account erroneously has this second Charles being born on 9 July 1838, at Griggsville, Illinois).

(Alder and Alder, p. 30; and Evans and Anderson, p. 355)
_____


Since the first child of Ezra T. and Pamelia Andrus Benson had died years earlier and because the second child of their union was a girl named Chloe Jane Benson (who was born in April 1835, in Holland, Massachusetts, and died on 13 October of the same year “with the croup”), the Charles Augustus Benson of Logan lynching fame would have been the oldest, surviving son of Ezra T. Benson at the time of his death in 1873.

(Alder and Alder, p. 38; and Evans and Anderson, p. 355)
_____


The official Benson family genealogical history reports that a Charles Augustus Benson, age 12, “arrived in Great Salt Lake 22 October 1849,” with Ezra T. Benson, as part of the 5th Company, indicating that this particular Charles would have been born in 1837.

In fact, the same Benson family genealogical history notes that a Charles Augustus Benson was born on 3 July 1837 and that “this child came across the plans with them” (meaning the Bensons).

(Alder and Alder, p. 30)
_____


The same account innocuously (and in very limited fashion) reports on certain major events in this latter Charles’ lif--while conspicuously failing to mention any of the circumstances surrounding his death:

”Charles Augustus Benson was the oldest son born to Ezra T. Benson who lived. He crossed the plains as boy of 12 with his father and mother, Pamelia. He was endowed 11 April 1856 at [the Salt Lake City] Endowment House when he was 19 years of age. This endowment took place before his father left for his European mission.

“In 1860, at the age of 22, he went to Logan, Utah, with his parents and became a trapper. He owned traps, knives and a gun, which were the tools he needed for his occupation. After his father’s death in 1869, he lived in the vicinity of Logan until his death, 18 February 1873.”


(Alder and Alder, p. 36)
_____


The above account fails to note that the gun which Charles Augustus Benson used to kill animals was most likely also the one he used to kill a human being. (We'll get to that little detail in short order).
_____


The Mysterious Life and Times of Charles Augustus Benson: the First and (Thus Far) Only Benson to Die at the Hands of a Lynch Mob--Which Caused an Apostate Revolt Among the Faithful

The death of the second Charles Augustus Benson “in Logan, Utah, 18 February 1873” (Alder and Alder, p. 38) occurred the same year that Quinn notes one “Charles A. Benson” was neck-stretched in Logan, Utah.

Hmmmm . . .

As an intriguing aside, although the date of death of some (if not all) of the siblings of this second Charles are noted in Benson family genealogical records, the unique circumstances surrounding Charles’ death are also absent from at least one other account of Ezra T. Benson’s life.

The reason given by Benson family historians for the lack of death dates for some of Charles’ siblings is that of “record unavailable.”

In the following evasive version of events, the date of Charles’ death is not provided and the cause of his death is left unexplained, supposedly because the records were, well, unavailable. All that is offered about his severely undereported life is this cryptic summation:

”Charles Augustus Benson according to temple record was baptized 9 July 1846 and endowed 11 April 1856 in the Endowment House at Salt Lake City. No further record of his life is available.” (Evans and Anderson, p. 355), emphasis added
_____


Yet, Quinn, in a footnote on the death of “Charles A. Benson” (Extensions of Power, p. 540), cites the following sources as the basis for the actual cause of his demise:

”A.J. Simmonds, ‘Cause of Death–LYNCHING,’ The West 17 (Jan. 1974), 26-27. 48; A.J. Simmonds, The Gentle Comes to Cache Valley: A Study of the Logan Apostasies of 1874 and the Establishment of Non-Mormon Churches in Cache Valley, 1873-1913 (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1976), 9-10”
_____


Simmonds himself confirmed that the Charles A. Benson who was lynched at the hands of Loganites was, in fact, the son of Mormon Apostle Ezra T. Benson. Simmonds (late curator of Special Collections at Utah State University in Logan and author of several historical accounts on Cache Valley) wrote an article entitled, “Aaron DeWitt: The Man, His Times and His Letter" (in which Simmonds described as DeWitt as "probably Logan's first 'permanent' apostate Mormon").

In his article, Simmonds provided the graphic details of Charles Augustus Benson’s death:

”On Valentine's Day, 1873, Charles Augustus Benson, 41-year-old son [sic] of the late Apostle E.T. Benson, shot and killed David W. Crockett after an argument in the snow-filled street near Logan Hall. Benson escaped and hid out in Hezekiah Thatcher's barn for 3 days.

“When, in the early morning of February 17, he tried to run from the city, he was captured and jailed at the county courthouse. At 10:30 a.m. the building was stormed by a lynch mob, the officers overcome, and Benson hanged from the sign board across the sidewalk in front of the building. That afternoon a coroner's jury agreed 'that the said Charles A. Benson came to his death from strangulation caused by a rope around his neck.' . . .

“There exists the possibility of--if not official connivance--at least official consent to Benson's lynching. In his old age, Nicholas W. Crookston, Cache County Sheriff (1881-1909), recorded the events of the lynching which he had witnessed as a boy [noted here with original punctuation and spelling]:

“'(Benson) lived with his Mother driving a team of mules in the Canyon and done some farming always carrying two revolvers in his belt and bluffed everyone that come his way. He lived accrossed the Street from Bishop Preston and when their pet rabits or chickens went out in the street they were shot by Benson off hand with his revolvers he being an excelent Shot The Bishop remarked that him and Benson could not live much longer in the Same Town.

“’Later in the day (of the lynching) while he was still hanging I went back there and I herd this conversation one C.C. Goodwin came up and Said he was going to send for the US marshal and would investigate this affair to the Bottom He was told that Old Settlers was running this town and for him to go home and be a good boy as there was room for 3 or 4 on that Sign Bord he went at once.'

“Possibly that same winter (the dates are uncertain and it could have been as late as the winter of 1876- 1877), C. C. Goodwin was waylaid on the streets of Logan, beaten unconscious and left in the snow. . . . No formal investigation was ever made of the lynching.

“But that year, many of the Benson family left the Mormon Church of which their father had been an apostle and of which their grandnephew would become President in 1985, and joined St. John's Episcopal.’”


(Note: Simmonds claimed that Charles Augustus Benson, son of Ezra T. Benson, was lynched at age 41. If, however, he was born in 1837, as has been reliably reported, he would have been 35, not 41, at the time of his death).

(“Blood Atonement or Just Plain Murder?: Aaron DeWitt, the Man, His times and His Letter,” by A.J. Simmonds, at http://www.saintsalive.com/mormonism/murder.html)
_____


A more detailed and colorful account of the murder of David W. Crockett at the hands of Charles ("Charlie") Augustus Benson--and the latter's subsequent lynching--was provided by historian Ray Somers:

"The snow lay several inches deep in the northern Utah city of Logan in early February 1873. The colored alcohol in a hundred cheap thermometers all over town hovered close to zero. Even with the intense cold, there was a great deal of activity in Logan. It was a Friday night, Valentine's Day.

"There was a dance at Logan Hall to celebrate the holiday. However, not everyone was occupied solely with the cold and the Valentine's Ball. Not far away from where Watchman Birdno was beginning his rounds, a group of young men were walking slowly along Third Street toward Logan Hall. They had been doing some heavy drinking. Some of them were laughing and a few were quarreling; a couple were armed. Utah was still a frontier in 1873 and while revolvers were hardly a necessity, many men--particularly the young men--wore them.

"If the frontier experience proved anything, it was that liquor, arguments, and six-guns don't mix. Words got warmer and tempers shorter.

"All of a sudden, Charlie Benson drew his gun and fired at David W. Crockett. The bullet struck Crockett in the chest. He crumpled to the ground, the blood from the wound staining the snow. The gunfire has a sobering effect. Charlie holstered the gun and, quickening his steps, started walking along the street.

"Dozens of people who had seen the shooting stepped back into the doorways along Third Street as Charlie passed, then hurried to the body lying in the snow. Crockett had died instantly.

" Benson enjoyed a reputation in Logan only small boys envied. He had a mercuric temper and a draw to match. In December 1868, he had shot and killed eighteen year old William Parry in Malad City, Idaho Territory, and then fled back across the Utah border. Utah officials had held him in custody, but a certain frontier leniency about such cases--where even a vague excuse of self-defense could be advanced--had secured his release on a writ of habeus corpus.

"People thought of this earlier incident as they saw twenty-five year old Crockett dead in a snowdrift stained with his own blood.

"Charlie passed Logan Hall, then doubled back to his home. Quite sober by now, he told his mother what he had done, took a loaf of bread, some cheese, and a buffalo robe, and left. The horses were all disabled with the sickness that made its seasonal round every winter. If he were to escape, it would have to be on foot in the middle of a hard winter.

"By the time Charlie walked out into the bitter cold of St. Valentine's night, the city was alerted to the murder. The police and special police became mobilized for the search. County Sheriff Alvin Crockett, the victim's uncle, assumed co-command of the search with Marshal Fletcher. Armed volunteers doubled and then redoubled the size of the police force. Parties immediately covered the roads leading out of town. Sheriff Crockett wired Salt Lake City, Ogden, and his Cache County towns near Logan. The city resembled an armed camp.

"No one got much sleep that night. Behind bolted doors, armed citizens kept a vigil. Early the next morning, the police began a house to house search. At the home of David Crockett, Sr., young David's coffin lay open and hundreds of the family, the friends, and the merely curious filed by to view the remains. Across town a few faithful friends called on Charlie's mother to try to comfort her.

"Saturday closed with hundreds of searchers finding no trace of their quarry.

"Under a thick covering of hay in the big stone barn behind Moses Thatcher's house on Second Street, Charlie Benson ate the last of the bread and cheese and wrapped himself tighter in the robe. It had been a long day for him, too.

"Sunday brought a repeat of the house to house search. Church meetings were short. This morning there was more concern with worldly matters.
Monday passed with parties still guarding the roads and patrolling the streets. Marshal Fletcher remained convinced that Charlie was still hiding in the city. The citizens were not sure where he was. Logan was scared. Rumors multiplied and Charlie's crimes grew with each retelling.

"Under the hay in Thatcher's barn, Charlie came to a decision. At daybreak he would try to get out of town. Vigilance must surely relax after seventy-two hours.

"Early the next morning, he crept out of the barn and through the pre-dawn darkness to Frederick Goodwin's home. Goodwin was a rancher who, like many in Utah, found it more comfortable to live in town and hire men to run his cattle on the prairies know as the Big Range, twenty miles northwest of Logan. Frederick Goodwin had been Charlie Benson's friend. Mr. Goodwin had also been young Crockett's friend.

"When Charlie tapped on the window, Goodwin told him to go home. Benson answered that he couldn't; the place was too well guarded. Goodwin then offered an alternative, 'Get away if you can; you've caused trouble enough to your friends.'

"Charlie turned south to First Street; then ran west along the road until it became a trail among the willows bordering Logan River. By the time he reached the outskirts of town, the first traces of morning were lighting the tops of the nine-thousand foot peaks east of the city.

"A patrolman thought he saw someone running along the street, a dark silhouette against the white snow. He told the Marshal. There were tracks in the crisp snow--tracks of a man running.

"Immediately they raised the hue and cry. A hundred armed men were soon following the trail along First Street, beyond the town, among the willows. About two miles west of Logan they spotted him. The leafless branches gave no screen to shield him. A hundred men raised rifles. Marshal Fletcher shouted at him to either surrender or be shot. Charlie gave up.

"With taunts and threats that grew louder at each step, the posse led him back to town. Since Logan City had no jail, they took him to the County Courthouse and locked him in a cell at the rear of the building.

"However, the crowd did not disperse. They had been living in fear for four days--close to panic much of the time. Now the object of their fear lay locked up in a cell inside a frail white-frame building. Slowly, quietly, they talked up their anger. They rehearsed their injuries, real and imagined, but vivid after four days of living with them. The scared men soon became brave and vengeful.

"At some point in their muttering, the crowd became a mob; the volunteers became vigilantes. Suddenly a couple of them bolted from the group toward the courthouse, to the cell, and dragged Charlie Benson back out the door. Someone had a rope with a noose already tied on one end.

"In front of the building was a high sign-post carrying the words, 'Cache County Courthouse.' The men slipped the noose around Charlie's neck. The rope was thrown over the signpost and a dozen men on the other end lifted Charles A. Benson to his death.

"The next day David W. Crockett was buried in the city cemetery atop the bluffs east of town. Mary Ann Weston Maughan wrote in her diary, 'It was a very large funeral.'
At 3:30 p.m. on February 20, 1873, Charles A. Benson was buried in the same cemetery. Funeral services took place at the grave. The funeral-going Mrs. Maughan recorded that 'M. Thatcher, J. Hatch, and Thomas X. Smith spoke and said what could be said to comfort the mourners.'"


(Simmonds, A. J. "Cause of Death--Lynching," In R. Somers, History of Logan [Logan, Utah: Somers Historic Press, 1993])
_____


Moreover, according to the “Niels Hansen Timeline,” not only was a “Charles Benson” identified as “the oldest son of Ezra Taft Benson” who was, in fact, lynched in 1873, his hanging sparked (as alluded to above) an apostate revolt among the townspeople:

”Charles Benson, oldest son of Ezra Taft Benson, shot and killed a friend while drunk and was lynched and hung, leading to the families of several friends and sisters leaving the LDS Church.”

(“Niels Hansen Timeline, Relating to Niels Hansen, b. 1795, Odense, Denmark - d. 1902, Aetna, Alberta, Canada,” at http://www.saintclair.org/stories/niels_hansen_timeline.html
_____


David William Crockett: Murder Victim of Ezra T. Benson’s Apostate Son

Charles Augustus Benson’s murder victim was a 25-year-old man named David William Crockett who, according to Crockett’s personal family records, was “shot on [the] streets of Logan by a drunken ruffian” on 14 February 1873.

Crockett was born on 13 March 1848 in Davis County, Iowa, to David and Lydia Young Crockett, the tenth of 15 children.

Crockett was a baptized and endowed member of the Mormon Church, the son of faithful Mormon converts.

Two of his siblings were born in Nauvoo, Illinois.

One of his brothers was named after, and blessed by, LDS Church leader Wilford Woodruff.

The Crockett family fled Nauvoo in 1846, as part of the massive Mormon exodus westward.

In 1849, they migrated with the Willard Richards Company from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley. (Interestingly enough, the families of David Crockett and Ezra T. Benson arrived in the Salt Lake Valley the same year, only three days apart).

Brigham Young eventually dispatched the Crockett family to help settle Payson, Utah, where the younger David’s father was elected as that town's first mayor.

Crockett’s mother, Lydia, served as a midwife in Payson and later in Cache Valley, helping to deliver over 1,000 babies.

From Payson, Crockett’s father and mother moved their family to Logan, after Crockett’s older brother, Alvin, and his wife located there in 1860.

Crockett’s family played a prominent role in the history of Logan, Utah.

Alvin was elected Logan's first mayor in 1866, where he served for four years. In 1872, he became a councilman to Mayor William B. Preston.

During this time, Alvin was also Logan’s first marshal. He eventually was elected Logan’s sheriff, serving in that capacity from 1865 until 1882. The official history of the Cache County Sheriff’s Office notes what befell his brother David:

”On Valentine’s Day 1873, Sheriff Crockett’s younger brother, David, was shot to death by Charlie Benson. Benson was arrested and jailed.

"A few days later, a vigilante mob broke into the jail overcoming Sheriff Crockett and Logan Marshall Mark Fletcher and seized the alleged murderer Benson.

"Benson was taken to Main Street near the site of the Old White Court house where he was hanged by the neck and died.”


In a tragic and ironic twist, Alvin Crockett personally knew and worked with the father of the man whose sone ended up murdering a member of Alvin's family.

In fact, Alvin Crockett was at Ezra T. Benson’s side the day the apostle died and tried in vain to save his life:

. . . Ezra T. Benson . . . left Logan the afternoon of September 2, 1869, with Brother Alvin Crockett, for Ogden in connection with his business (Brother Crockett was a settler in Logan in 1860 and later served as [its] mayor . . .)

“. . . As the two men leisurely traveled along he talked encouragingly of his future hopes with Brother Crockett.

“They stopped for the night with friends at Wellsville. Early the following morning they started on their way to Brigham City. . . . In a happy frame of mind he left for Ogden in the afternoon. Just before he arrived there one of his horses took sick with colic. . . . After doing everything possible to make it comfortable . . . he brought him back . . . and placed him in the barn.

“With Brother Crockett and Ephraim Turner, he started for the home of Lorin Farr. As they neared the house, without warning, Brother Benson suddenly slumped to the ground, striking Brother Turner’s leg as he fell, and to all appearances was dead, though they would continue their efforts to resuscitate him.”


Another of David’s brothers, Emer, subsequently served as Logan’s sheriff from 1899 until 1900. Emer stood over six feet in height, was known for his wrestling matches with the local Native Americans, farmed 600 acres in what is present-day North Logan and worked in logging, road building and construction of the Logan Temple.

(”Thomas Crockett,” at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bobbistockton/crohtm..htm ; “David William Crockett B. 13 Mar 1848 D. 14 Feb 1873,” at http://remembermeforever.com/Ream_Volker_RMF/genealogy/person6464.htm ; “Cache County Sheriff’s Office: History,” at http://www.cachesheriff.com/Sheriffsmain/history.htm ; and Evans and Anderson, pp. 319-321)
_____


In a nutshell (or better yet, gun shell), Mormon Apostle Ezra T. Benson’s son, Charles Augustus Benson, murdered a member of a respected LDS family that had played an important role in the civic and religious life of a Mormon community. A member of that very Crockett family (who was sheriff of Logan at the time) bravely attempted to save the life of the man whose son was to eventually kill a member of the sheriff’s own family four years later.

(By the way, later generations of boastfully contented Bensons were never informed of these inconvenient facts during any of their regularly-held family reunions, where great praise and adulation were heaped upon the Bensons--by none other than the Bensons).
_____


Conclusion: Covering Up the Blighted Benson Past

The much-heralded (at least in Benson family circles) Benson family history project entitled, The Benson Family, was compiled by Donald Benson Alder and Elsie L. Alder--the genealogists chosen by the “Ezra T. Benson Association” to undertake the assignment of putting the Benson family’s best foot forward, regardless of the facts.

This careful created history was printed in 1979, three years after the sources noted by renowned LDS historian D. Michael Quinn on the death of Charles Augustus Benson at the hands of an enraged mob were published by the Utah State University Press (and five years after an earlier account of his death had already had become a matter of public record).

Yet, despite its glaring omissions surrounding the vigilante hanging of Ezra T. Benson’s oldest surviving child, my grandfather Ezra Taft Benson, in the preface of the Alders’ sanitized work, described his family history project as a “noteworthy compilation.”

Noteworthy, indeed, for what it left out.

As my grandfather further wrote, in shamelessly back-slapping words:

”I commend their effort to all family members with the prayerful desire in my heart that this compilation will instill within us and our posterity a sense of our heritage, a loyalty to our name, and a resoluteness to become imbued with the same virtues that have ennobled our ancestors.”

Uh-huh. Virtues such as drunkenly murdering the brother of the local sheriff.

(Alder and Alder, p. 1)
_____


If this nauseating self-worship wasn’t bad enough, in a letter attached to each Benson family member’s personal copy of this "history," my grandparents lauded the Benson Family Cover-Up as “a great book . . . .[that] we hope you will prize and make good use of . . . “

(Ezra Taft and Flora Benson, “TO OUR BELOVED MARRIED GRANDCHILDREN,” 24 June 1982), original emphasis
_____


Excuse me, but did you say noble, virtuous ancestors?

The story of choking out Charles with a hangman’s noose takes a bit of the bloom off the Benson family rose, at least as that rose was piously presented by my grandparents in a letter to my wife Mary Ann and myself on 20 February 1980:

”What a great family and what grateful grandparents and parents. The Lord bless you all--now and always--is our humble prayer.”
_____


That prayerful Benson humbleness didn't last very long.

The story of Charles Augustus Benson losing all hope at the end of rope made yet another letter my grandfather sent to me on 18 August 1982 seem a little less impressive:

”We have a great family and the grandchildren are all marrying well and are performing beautifully as they face the responsibilities and problems of life. We are proud of all the children, grandchildren, their companions and the great-grandchildren. Of course, Grandma says they’re all ‘great’ and I know they are.”
_____


Why, of course.

I'm just wondering if “all” includes boozed-up family members strung up for murder.

Generations of post-Charles Augustus Bensons have conveniently never been informed at Benson family self-worship services, reunions, testimony meetings or other faith-promoting myth-manufacturing make-overs that the oldest surviving child of Apostle Ezra T. Benson was a rabble-rousing, loud-mouthed, gun-slinging apostate ne'er-do-well who murdered a man in a drunken fit and ended up swinging from the end of a rope in the heart of a Mormon-run town, thanks to an outraged mob bent on vigilante justice that had decided it wouldn't take kindly to murder.

Nor were we ever told that as a result of that murder and its abbreviated road-to-justice lynching, several members of the Benson family abandoned Mormonism and joined the growing ranks of apostates seeking support at the local Episcopalian Church.

The oh-so-careful compilers of the official Benson Family Whitewash, in the introduction of what they discreetly described as their “reference book of recorded names, dates and places,” said the following about their research efforts in behalf of the “Ezra T. Benson Genealogical Society:”

”We feel we must preserve these records for the generations to come after us.

“We believe that many members of the Benson Family will appreciate the information we have found and will want to know about their progenitors and where the came from . . . .

“We realize if we extended our search we would find much more information to add to this book but we feel this is the year (1979) to print this, ‘THE BENSON FAMILY.’”


(Alder and Alder, p. 2), original emphasis
_____


Yes, of course, you’ve got to stop somewhere.

Otherwise, the truth might come out.
topic image
Machiavellian Mormonism: Murdering The Next In Line To The Prophet's Throne
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, at 07:29 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
The Strange Death of Samuel H. Smith--Brother of Joseph Smith and Heir Apparent to the Assassination-Emptied Mormon Throne

Samuel Harrison Smith was the younger brother of Joseph Smith, an early baptized member of the Mormon Church, one of its original founders and one of the so-called "Eight Witnesses." He was also one of the Church's first missionaries and served on the Kirtland, Ohio, high council.

He died under mysterious circumstances on 30 July 1844, at the age of 36, barely a month after Joseph and Hyrum Smith were shot to death in a jailhouse siege.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Joseph Smith had chosen his brother Samuel to take on the leadership mantle for the Church if both he and Hyrum were killed. According to Joseph Smith's private secretary William Clayton, Joseph had "said that if he and Hyrum were taken away, Samuel H. Smith would be his successor."

After their deaths in Carthage, Samuel personally transported Joseph's body by wagon--lain in a plain pine box covered with prairie grass--back to Nauvoo.

Soon thereafter, he became violently ill and was himself dead in a matter of weeks.

(see "Samuel Harrison Smith," at http://today.answers.com/topic/samuel-harrison-smith; H. Michael Marquardt, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816-1844 [Longwood, Florida: Xulon Press, 2005], p. 635; 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. 21); and Ernest H. Taves, Trouble Enough: Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon [Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books,1984], p. 216)
_____


Cries of Foul Play from Members of Joseph Smith's Family

Despite efforts by the Mormon Church to dismiss allegations that Samuel Smith was a victim of a murder plot at the hands of Church leaders conspiring to succeed Joseph Smith, members of the Smith family vigorously contended that Samuel had been purposely killed in a power grab that took place in the aftermath of Joseph's assassination.

Five years after Samuel's death, published media accounts by the only Smith brother to survive the Nauvoo period, William, charged that Samuel had been deliberately poisoned:

"In the October 1849 issue of his newspaper, the Melchisedek and Aaronic Herald, William Smith publishe[d] a list of Mormon martyrs, including Samuel H. [Smith] , 'who died from the effects of poison administered to him. He died within one month after the martyrdom of his brother.'"

("Martyrs of the Latter Day Saints," Melchisedek and Aaronic Herald (Covington, Kentucky) 1, no. 7, Oct. 1849)
____


A few years later, in a letter to the New York Tribune, William Smith provided further details on the suspicious death of his brother, Samuel, pointing a direct finger at Brigham Young and Willard Richards, accusing them of orchestrating Samuel's murder:

"I have good reason for believing that my brother Samuel H. Smith, died of poison at Nauvoo, administered by order of Brigham Young and Willard Richards, only a few weeks subsequent to the unlawful murder of my other brothers, Joseph and Hiram Smith, while incarcerated in Carthage jail.

"Several other persons who were presumed to stand between Brigham Young and the accomplishment of his ambitions and wicked designs, mysteriously disappeared from Nauvoo about the same time, and have never been heard from since."


(William Smith, "Mormonism," letter to the New York Tribune, 28 May 1857)
_____


In private correspondence in 1892, William Smith further asserted that Willard Richards asked Hosea Stout (who happened to be Samuel's caretaker) to kill Samuel in order to prevent Samuel from taking office as Mormon Church president before the Quorum of the Twelve (which happened to be led by Brigham Young) could convene to handpick a successor.

(William Smith, letter to "Bro. [ . . . ] Kelley, 1 June 1892)
_____


Samuel Smith's own daughter, Mary B. Smith, expressed her belief that her father and her uncle Arthur Milliken were simultaneously poisoned through the administration of a powdery toxin purported to be medicine--noting, as well, that the same doctors attended both men.

According to Mary, Milliken stopped taking the fatal substance but Samuel continued to the last dose, which "he spit out and said he was poisoned. But it was too late–he died."

(Mary B. Smith Norman, letter to Ina Coolbrith, 27 March 1908; the above citations found in "Samuel H. Smith (1808-1844)," at http://www.saintswithouthalos.com/b/smith_s.phtm )
_____


Moreover, Samuel Smith's wife, Levira Clark Smith, also concluded that her popular husband had, in reality, been murdered--and proceeded to name the murderer.

Writes author Richard Abanes:

"[In the wake of Josepsh Smith's death,] Samuel Smith . . . seemed a reasonable choice to many Saints [for the Church's next president]. In fact, he nearly took control of the Church before the Twelve had returned [to Nauvoo], much to the irritation of Willard Richards, who wanted no leader to be name unilt all the Apostles were present.

"Richards may have gone so far as to have Samuel murdered to prevent any succession. Samuel's wife believed this to be the case, naming as her husband's murderer the Chief of Police--Hosea Stout, a Danite widely known for having a violent streak and a cold-hearted disposition.

"Everyone knew he was more than capable of homicide. He had already been, and would continue to be, connected with several murders and assaults involving apostates and Church critics. . . .

"In the case of Samuel Smith, Stout had acted as Samuel's care-giver when he fell ill, and in that capacity had given Samuel 'white powder' medicine daily until his death. Samuel's wife, daughter, and brother . . . all believed the powder to be poison."


(Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church [New York, New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002], p. 207)
_____


Brigham Young Denies Ordering the Murder of Samuel Smith

Brigham Young hotly denied allegations that he had also been involved in the death of Samuel Smith, instead offering up a questionable alibi.

". .. William Smith has asserted that I was the cause of the death of his brother Samuel, when brother Woodruff, who is here to day, knows that we were waiting at the depôt in Boston to take passage east at the very time when Joseph and Hyrum were killed.

"Brother Taylor was nearly killed at the time, and Doctor Richards had his whiskers nearly singed off by the blaze from the guns. In a few weeks after, Samuel Smith died, and I am blamed as the cause of his death.'"


(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, July 1857, p.77)
_____


Dissecting Young's Shaky Denial

Recovery from Mormonism poster "Perry Noid" raises serious questions about the truthfulness of Young's denial of involvement in the death of Samuel Smith:

" . . . I [am] struck at how weak [Young's] defense [is].

"He simply seem[s] to be relying on the 'Hey. I was out of town' alibi that Mafia types like to rely on after giving instructions to an agent who just happens to be 'in town.'

"It seems like he's counting on suckers not asking the next obvious question, i.e., '[S]ince [Young] and his pro-polygamy faction obviously were the prime beneficiaries of Sam[uel] Smith's untimely demise, doesn't it stand to reason that [Young] could have given instructions to a subordinate or have knowingly approved of the plan in advance?

"At the very least, isn't it possible that [Young] knew what happened after the fact and covered it up because it worked out so nicely for himself?'

"The pattern of denial by [Young] in this instance sure does feel similar to that used in the Mountain Meadows Massacre case.

"But it's also highly likely that [Young] literally got a 'taste of his own medicine' since his own death followed a prolonged episode of painful, violent vomiting and discomfort that may have been the result of a revenge poisoning."

_____


"Perry Noid" offers additional intriguing and compelling information which makes it entirely possible to conclude that Samuel Smith could well have been seen as a dire threat to the interests of Young's conniving inner circle of power-mongering polygamists:

" . . . Samuel was probably the last best hope that the Smith clan had to maintain a dominant leadership position in the Church.

"If he had succeeded Hyrum to the office of Patriarch, that position could have been leveraged into a hereditary presidency, that only Smiths were eligible to attain.

"Samuel probably wasn't capable of being a strong leader like Joseph, or even Hyrum, but the Smith Clan was likely hoping that he would be able to hold things together long enough for Joe III to ascend to the throne.

"Samuel's claim, in addition to being supported by the fact that he was the eldest Smith male in line after Joe and Hyrum, was also supported by the fact that he was the third official convert to Mormonism, after Joe and Oliver.

"So, I believe that, first and foremost, he was a serious obstacle to the ambitions of the strong pro-polygamy faction that was coalescing behind Brigham.

"I don't know whether or not Samuel would have continued to go along with polygamy, but my impression was that he was not an enthusiastic supporter and the remainder of the Smith clan would probably have intended to dump it all together, knowing that it would be a continuing source of trouble for their Church.

"One biography of Samuel indicates that he had no plural wives, but only married his second wife after his first wife had died."


("Thanks for the re-post," by "Perry Noid," Recovery from Mormonism board, 5 June, year unknown; and "My understanding of the situation . . .," idem, RfM board, 5 June, year unknown, at http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon248.htm )
_____


Further Reasons to Question Young's Attempts at Distancing Himself from the Dastardly Deed

Noting the documentation amassed by historian D. Michael Quinn as well as others, avid student of Mormon history and RfM poster "Deconstructor" asks, "Why would such an accusation be laid against Brigham Young?," then explains:

"To understand the context, you have to remember that after Smith and Hyrum were killed, there was some conflict over who should be his successor.

"Brigham Young was not in Nauvoo when Smith was killed, but started to head back as soon as he heard the news.

"Meanwhile in Nauvoo, several potential leaders were positioning to take the reins of leadership. The most popular replacement was Samuel Smith, the brother of Joseph Smith. William Clayton had recorded Joseph declaring his brother William his successor if both he and Hyrum were killed.

"But Brigham Young's first cousin and Church apostle, William Richards, insisted that nothing should be decided until Brigham Young could return to Nauvoo.

"However, many members did not want to wait, and more and more support was gathering behind Samuel Smith, Joseph Smith's brother, to become the next Prophet and leader of the Church.

"For a select few, this presented a problem because Samuel was violently against polygamy. It was looking like Samuel Smith would become the next prophet and promised to denounce the practice of plural marriage.

"Michael Quinn, from The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, explains what happened next:

"'Then Samuel Smith suddenly became violently ill and died on 30 July 1844. This added suspicion of murder to the escalating drama.

"'Council of Fifty member and physician John M. Bernhisel told William Smith that anti-Mormons had somehow poisoned his brother.

"'William learned from Samuel's widow that Hosea Stout, a Missouri Danite and senior officer of Nauvoo's police, had acted as his brother's nurse. Stout had given him "white powder" medicine daily until his death. Samuel became ill within days of the discussion of his succession right, and by 24 July was "very sick."

"'There had been enough talk about Samuel's succession claims that the newspaper in Springfield, Illinois, reported, "A son of Joe Smith [Sr.] it is said, had received the revelation that he was to be the successor of the prophet."

"'William Smith eventually concluded that Apostle Willard Richards asked Stout to murder (his brother) Samuel H. Smith.

"'The motive was to prevent Samuel from becoming Church president before Brigham Young and the full Quorum of Twelve arrived (in Nauvoo).

"William's suspicions about Stout are believable since Brigham Young allowed William Clayton to go with the pioneer company to Utah three years later only because Stout threatened to murder Clayton as soon as the apostles left.

"Clayton regarded Hosea Stout as capable of homicide and recorded no attempt by Young to dispute that assessment concerning the former Danite."

"One could dismiss William Smith's charge as a self-serving argument for his own succession claim, yet Samuel's daughter also believed her father was murdered.

"'My father was undoubtedly poisoned,' she wrote. 'Uncle Arthur Millikin was poisoned at the same time--the same doctors were treating my father and Uncle Arthur at the same time. Uncle Arthur discontinued the medicine-without letting them know that he was doing so. (Aunt Lucy [Smith Millikin] threw it in the fire).

"'Father continued taking it until the last dose [which] he spit out and said he was poisoned. But it was too late--he died.'

"Nauvoo's sexton recorded that Samuel Smith died of "bilious fever," [which was] the cause of death listed for two children but no other adults that summer.

"This troubling allegation should not be ignored but cannot be verified.

"Nevertheless, Clayton's diary confirms the efforts of Richards to avoid the appointment of a successor before his first cousin Brigham Young arrived.

"'Stout's diary also describes several occasions when Brigham Young and the apostles seriously discussed having Hosea "rid ourselves" of various Church members considered dangerous to the Church and the apostles. Stout referred to this as "cut him off-behind the ears-according to the law of God in such cases."

"'Stout's daily diary also makes no reference whatever to his threat to murder Clayton in 1847. When the Salt Lake "municipal high council" tried Hosea Stout for attempted murder, he protested that "it has been my duty to hunt out the rotten spots in the Kingdom." He added that he had "tried not to handle a man's case until it was right."

"'Evidence does not exist to prove if the prophet's brother was such a "case" Stout handled."' (D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power {Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1994], pp.152-153)."

_____


In support of William Smith's charge that Samuel Smith was rubbed out on the orders of Brigham Young in order to prevent him from becoming head of the LDS Church, historian Dan Vogel's cites testimony from members of Joseph Smith's own family:

"Hyrum and Joseph was Murdered Carthage Jail in Hancock Co[,] Illinois. Samuel Smith died in Nauvoo, supposed to have been the Subject of Conspiracy by Brigham Young."

(Dan Vogel, "Joseph Smith Family Testimony, William Smith Notes Circa 1875, " in Early Mormon Documents, p. 488; and "LDS Mormon History--Brigham Young Murder Samuel Smith, Was Joseph Smith's brother Samuel murdered?," at http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/brigham_murder.htm )
_____


Mormon Supporters Claim Samuel Smith's Death Was Due to Accidental Injury or Fever

Despite numerous indications fueling deep suspicions that Samuel Smith may have died of deliberate poisoning at the hands of an inner Mormon circle cabal, the LDS Church-owned and -published Encyclopedia of Mormonism makes the suggestion that he actually died from a conveniently unidentified horse-riding injury, supposedly sustained during Samuel's dramatic effort to save the lives of his brothers Joseph and Hyrum:

"Upon hearing of the dangers to his brothers at Carthage, Samuel attempted to ride to their aid, but arrived too late to intervene. He died within the month, apparently of an injury sustained in that ride."

(Sydney Smith Reynolds, "Smith Family," Encyclopedia of Mormonism: THe History, Scriptures, Doctrine, and Procedure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 3 (New York, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992], p. 1360)
_____


On the other hand, Mormon historian Donna Hill mentions nothing about Samuel suffering a riding injury, claiming instead that in his gallop to Carthage to save his brothers, he was chased by a mob, arrived too late to rescue them, carried the murdered bodies of Joseph and Hyrum back to Nauvoo and, amid this ordeal,
"[c]ontracted a fever and survived his brothers by only a few weeks."

Fellow LDS historians Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton agree with Hill's explanation of Samuel Smith's death, adding only that the mob that chased Samuel on his ride to Nauvoo had "mud-daubed faces."

(Donna Hill, Joseph Smith, the First Mormon: The definitive story of a complex and charismatic man and the people who knew him [Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1977], p. 448; and Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saits [New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979], p. 82)
_____


Other professional observers--notably the non-Mormon variety--aren't as willing to shrug off Samuel Smith's death to a riding injury or a fever.

Richard N. and Joan K. Ostling, in their book, The Power and the Promise: Mormon America, note that Joseph Smith designated his brother Samuel to be his successor, adding that Samuel "would have succeeded [his assassinated brother] Hyrum as [Church] Patriarch and thus had a claim [to succeed Joseph as prophet], but died just weeks after Joseph and Hyrum, amid rumors he had been poisoned."

(Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling, The Power and the Promise: Mormon America [San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 1999], p. 337)
_____


Conclusion: In Mormonism, the Living Prophets Are More Important Than the Dead Prophets

Could it be that some of the dead prophets became dead at the hands of those who wanted to become the living prophets?
topic image
Escaping Death On The Highway: Protected By God From Someone Who Had Been Baptized
Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006, at 08:01 AM
Original Author(s): Steve Benson
Topic: STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11   -Link To MC Article-
I was driving toward LA yesterday on my motorcycle, cruising along minding my own business when, all of a sudden, I heard a loud bang, accompanied by a significant jolt.

My motorcycle shuddered but, fortunately, I managed to keep it steady and pulled over to the shoulder of the highway, where I expected to find that I had blown my rear tire.

To my surprise, as I dismounted, I saw a large black truck pulling off the highway right behind me. The driver--a young man with a wife and two children in the cab--got out and earnestly asked if I was OK. I looked at the back of my bike, where I observed noticeable damage, and said, "You hit me. How did that happen?"

The driver confessed that he had struck me from behind, after he had dropped a water bottle and was searching for it, only to find himself colliding with my motorcycle when he eventually raised up and looked down the road over his dashboard.

I thanked him for doing the right thing by stopping.

He replied that when he was younger, he had led a rough life but had recently gotten it together and had been baptized.

Not feeling the urge to go there, I didn't ask him what church he had been baptized into.

The highway patrol soon showed up and issued him his requisite ticket. Despite the damage to the bike, I was able to turn around and drive it back home (I didn't want to risk taking it on to California).

On the way back, I pulled into a truckstop and got off the bike. A woman, passing by on the sidewalk as she was leaving the convenience store, smiled and observed "What a beautiful bike."

I thanked her and said I had just been rear-ended by a truck that was going 80 mph.

She replied, "God must love you. It wasn't your time to go."

Well, what a nice thought.

I get hit by a someone barreling down the highway at 80 mph behind the wheel of three-quarter ton Dodge Ram pick-up truck, who had been led by God to turn his life around and get baptized.

God, I am subsequently told, loved me enough to save me from high-speed death at the hands of this seen-the-light baptized person--meaning that the Lord's message to me was that it wasn't my time to go.

Golly, I think I want to be baptized. :)
 
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That Dark, Damnable Day When, As A TBM I Blurted Out My Secret Temple Name - In The Bathroom
What Might Joseph Smith Have Eventually Succumbed To, If Not Bullets?
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Book Of Moron Stories: Wicked Brown-Skinned Lemuel Comes Back From The Dead Posing As A Quaker, Buys The Palymra Home Of Shiftless White-Skinned Joseph Smith Posing As A Prophet
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Machiavellian Mormonism: Murdering The Next In Line To The Prophet's Throne
Escaping Death On The Highway: Protected By God From Someone Who Had Been Baptized
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)
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  · 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)
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  · 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)
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  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
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  · 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)
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