Episode 37b: The Nauvoo Expositor for Dummies Part 2

John, George, Mike, Nyal and Jim continue the discussion.

Episode 37b

50 comments on “Episode 37b: The Nauvoo Expositor for Dummies Part 2”

  1. Wes Cauthers Reply

    Two very interesting podcasts, John. I learned many things I was previously unaware of. The thing that stood out to me the most was the discussion about whether or not there was any justification for destroying the press. In light of the fact that nothing printed in the paper was libelous (even if there was, destruction of the press is woefully extreme and highly uncharitable among other things) I see no valid reason for the press to be destroyed. At one point, the assertion was made that Joseph and crew were justified because they believed they had good reasons for their actions. Sorry, but if that were true, then any horrible thing that has been done thoughout history can be dismissed with the same line of reasoning because people always believe they have good reasons for their actions. There are many examples of this (i.e. Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler) and in all cases, the perpetrators believed they were doing something good in their own minds.

  2. Wes Cauthers Reply

    Two very interesting podcasts, John. I learned many things I was previously unaware of. The thing that stood out to me the most was the discussion about whether or not there was any justification for destroying the press. In light of the fact that nothing printed in the paper was libelous (even if there was, destruction of the press is woefully extreme and highly uncharitable among other things) I see no valid reason for the press to be destroyed. At one point, the assertion was made that Joseph and crew were justified because they believed they had good reasons for their actions. Sorry, but if that were true, then any horrible thing that has been done thoughout history can be dismissed with the same line of reasoning because people always believe they have good reasons for their actions. There are many examples of this (i.e. Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Hitler) and in all cases, the perpetrators believed they were doing something good in their own minds.

  3. Todd Swensen Reply

    Thanks for another great podcast. I’ve really enjoyed every Mormon Expression episode, but I have to say I’m partial to these kinds of in-depth historical discussions with the whole panel. Hearing all the (very) different perspectives on the same set of historical facts is informative and entertaining–especially with a topic as fascinating as the Nauvoo period in Mormon history. Keep up the great work!

  4. Todd Swensen Reply

    Thanks for another great podcast. I’ve really enjoyed every Mormon Expression episode, but I have to say I’m partial to these kinds of in-depth historical discussions with the whole panel. Hearing all the (very) different perspectives on the same set of historical facts is informative and entertaining–especially with a topic as fascinating as the Nauvoo period in Mormon history. Keep up the great work!

  5. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    John,

    I know you really want a balanced podcast, but do you have to constantly kiss Mike’s butt? Everything that Mike says, you say “I think Mike is right on that”, but then you squash any contribution from Nyal. Do you have to be so “religiously correct” and make sure that Mike’s opinion is heard on every issue to validate it?

    (Not germaine to the discussion, but Mike has that annoying Utah accent which really grates on the nerves)

  6. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    John,

    I know you really want a balanced podcast, but do you have to constantly kiss Mike’s butt? Everything that Mike says, you say “I think Mike is right on that”, but then you squash any contribution from Nyal. Do you have to be so “religiously correct” and make sure that Mike’s opinion is heard on every issue to validate it?

    (Not germaine to the discussion, but Mike has that annoying Utah accent which really grates on the nerves)

  7. Stone Reply

    Wow fellas! These stories would make the most incredible Dan Brown book/movie ever. I enjoyed the dialogue very much. As an active member who loves the Church and Gospel very much I’ve looked at all of these evidences and it leaves me feeling very frustrated, sad, and stupid. Stupid for having been so ignorant of the past. I naturally find myself trying to come up with all of the same explanations that Mike gives, and then the other part of me looks at this stuff and all I can do is shake my head – it’s all so disturbing. The reality is we just don’t know how all of the pieces fit or don’t fit and we are left with waaaaaaay more grey than black or white. I’m just bothered that most of us members only think in the white…or so we think.

  8. Stone Reply

    Wow fellas! These stories would make the most incredible Dan Brown book/movie ever. I enjoyed the dialogue very much. As an active member who loves the Church and Gospel very much I’ve looked at all of these evidences and it leaves me feeling very frustrated, sad, and stupid. Stupid for having been so ignorant of the past. I naturally find myself trying to come up with all of the same explanations that Mike gives, and then the other part of me looks at this stuff and all I can do is shake my head – it’s all so disturbing. The reality is we just don’t know how all of the pieces fit or don’t fit and we are left with waaaaaaay more grey than black or white. I’m just bothered that most of us members only think in the white…or so we think.

  9. Mike Tannehill Reply

    Hah, I’m not even from Utah, and believe me, John disagrees with me on alot of things and by no means “kisses my ass”, lol. I think your prejudice is showing.

  10. Mike Tannehill Reply

    Hah, I’m not even from Utah, and believe me, John disagrees with me on alot of things and by no means “kisses my ass”, lol. I think your prejudice is showing.

  11. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    Mike,

    We all have our prejudices. Mine happens to be holier-than-thou people like you. Perhaps you recall some of your own prejudice and compassionless comments from a reply to an earlier podcast on “In the shadow of the temple.” If not, let me refresh your memory:

    “The topics covered by the handwringing whiners in the video …”
    (Just shut up and drink the Kool-Aid!)

    “As far as I’m concerned, if your unhappy in the church its because your doing it wrong.”
    (Just follow my example, I’ll show you how to do it!)

    “Apparently sleeping with multiple partners while seperated from your husband is no big deal in her home country.”
    (If you substitue wife for husband, kind of sounds like JS in his “home country” of Nauvoo.)

    “I found it amusing when the ex-mo mom was all upset that she coulden’t attend the temple wedding.”
    (Your compassion for mothers, fathers, siblings is exemplary!!)

    “The part that upset me was the woman who didnt understand the temple and didnt want to wear the garment.”
    (What idiot wouldn’t be able to understand those bizarre rituals and handshakes???)

    You’ll make a great bishop one day, I wish I could be in your ward.

  12. DuzTruthMatter Reply

    Mike,

    We all have our prejudices. Mine happens to be holier-than-thou people like you. Perhaps you recall some of your own prejudice and compassionless comments from a reply to an earlier podcast on “In the shadow of the temple.” If not, let me refresh your memory:

    “The topics covered by the handwringing whiners in the video …”
    (Just shut up and drink the Kool-Aid!)

    “As far as I’m concerned, if your unhappy in the church its because your doing it wrong.”
    (Just follow my example, I’ll show you how to do it!)

    “Apparently sleeping with multiple partners while seperated from your husband is no big deal in her home country.”
    (If you substitue wife for husband, kind of sounds like JS in his “home country” of Nauvoo.)

    “I found it amusing when the ex-mo mom was all upset that she coulden’t attend the temple wedding.”
    (Your compassion for mothers, fathers, siblings is exemplary!!)

    “The part that upset me was the woman who didnt understand the temple and didnt want to wear the garment.”
    (What idiot wouldn’t be able to understand those bizarre rituals and handshakes???)

    You’ll make a great bishop one day, I wish I could be in your ward.

    • lifelongguy Reply

      Great podcast. I learned a lot. I have two comments, however:
      1.) I sympathize with Mike. He has a tough position to argue from and not a lot of ammunition. He gets overrun at times by the other panelists, and in most cases for good reason. But I was most distressed with his take on the Danites. Mike, you gotta go do more research. IF JS did not explicitly know and condone their actions, he certainly celebrated and vindicated them after the fact, as did BY in the Utah period. No excuses for the Danites… they were bad dudes that did bad stuff and I think we have enough evidence to say they did it with knowledge and consent from JS and other church leaders. Stop making excuses for them.
      2.) There were points in the podcast that the other panelists were reaching a bit in their assumptions. Don’t get me wrong, I think assumptions about the true motive for profit on JS’s end are correct, but they also require a lot of additional supporting contextual evidence and understanding, which the podcast did not have time for. Thus, taken at face value, the other panelists made comments that were opinionated at best, at least in the context allowed by the discussion of the material at hand.

      Mike has weak arguments most of the time, but I appreciate his point of view and the balance he offers to these podcasts. The other panelists can’t resort to over-reaching on their arguments, though… that just weakens the entire debate.

  13. NM Tony Reply

    My favorite podcast so far, guys! I had heard and read about a lot of what you discussed, but hearing the points of the Expositor and analyzing them one at a time was enlightening. I like that you have Mike, and I hope he continues to participate. I may not agree with everything he says, but I don’t agree with everything Nyal or James say either. I like the dichotomy. I did have a bit of a problem with the whole “it was legal” justification for destroying the printing press. Just because it was considered legal doesn’t make it right. Furthermore, I thought it was unconstitutional to destroy a printing press (the freedom of the press), thereby making it illegal, regardless of the ruling body’s perception.

  14. NM Tony Reply

    My favorite podcast so far, guys! I had heard and read about a lot of what you discussed, but hearing the points of the Expositor and analyzing them one at a time was enlightening. I like that you have Mike, and I hope he continues to participate. I may not agree with everything he says, but I don’t agree with everything Nyal or James say either. I like the dichotomy. I did have a bit of a problem with the whole “it was legal” justification for destroying the printing press. Just because it was considered legal doesn’t make it right. Furthermore, I thought it was unconstitutional to destroy a printing press (the freedom of the press), thereby making it illegal, regardless of the ruling body’s perception.

  15. lifelongguy Reply

    Great podcast. I learned a lot. I have two comments, however:
    1.) I sympathize with Mike. He has a tough position to argue from and not a lot of ammunition. He gets overrun at times by the other panelists, and in most cases for good reason. But I was most distressed with his take on the Danites. Mike, you gotta go do more research. IF JS did not explicitly know and condone their actions, he certainly celebrated and vindicated them after the fact, as did BY in the Utah period. No excuses for the Danites… they were bad dudes that did bad stuff and I think we have enough evidence to say they did it with knowledge and consent from JS and other church leaders. Stop making excuses for them.
    2.) There were points in the podcast that the other panelists were reaching a bit in their assumptions. Don’t get me wrong, I think assumptions about the true motive for profit on JS’s end are correct, but they also require a lot of additional supporting contextual evidence and understanding, which the podcast did not have time for. Thus, taken at face value, the other panelists made comments that were opinionated at best, at least in the context allowed by the discussion of the material at hand.

    Mike has weak arguments most of the time, but I appreciate his point of view and the balance he offers to these podcasts. The other panelists can’t resort to over-reaching on their arguments, though… that just weakens the entire debate.

  16. Eric Comstock Reply

    I loved this podcast. Mike I would love to see you come back with stronger answers so that you can put up a better debate for the church. I’m not a believer anymore but I love a good debate. Listening to your answers today reminded me of Sarah Palin. I never supported her but I always felt a little empathy for her as she would ultimately give inadequate and sometimes laughable answers to some very real and tough questions.

    As for the opposing view, I thought you all raised some good points but felt that you were sometimes reaching on a few of your conclusions.

    And where was Tom on this one. I’m sure Mike would have appreciated his support.

  17. Eric Comstock Reply

    I loved this podcast. Mike I would love to see you come back with stronger answers so that you can put up a better debate for the church. I’m not a believer anymore but I love a good debate. Listening to your answers today reminded me of Sarah Palin. I never supported her but I always felt a little empathy for her as she would ultimately give inadequate and sometimes laughable answers to some very real and tough questions.

    As for the opposing view, I thought you all raised some good points but felt that you were sometimes reaching on a few of your conclusions.

    And where was Tom on this one. I’m sure Mike would have appreciated his support.

  18. Aaron Reply

    Mike,

    I respect your courage in coming on and confronting some of these things – it can be hard to do. But dude, its ok to admit every now and then that Joseph and his homies are not infallible. If they had committed mass genocide, I sense that you would (like many apologists) search through scripture, journals, and talks trying to find a reason that they were justified. Sometimes wrong is just plain WRONG. Don’t be scared… God wants you to use your own conscience every now and then.

  19. Aaron Reply

    Mike,

    I respect your courage in coming on and confronting some of these things – it can be hard to do. But dude, its ok to admit every now and then that Joseph and his homies are not infallible. If they had committed mass genocide, I sense that you would (like many apologists) search through scripture, journals, and talks trying to find a reason that they were justified. Sometimes wrong is just plain WRONG. Don’t be scared… God wants you to use your own conscience every now and then.

  20. Jason Reply

    This was the best podcast yet. A couple of reasons for this: 1) Mike was much more vocal and able to express counter-arguments than I’ve heard him before. I appreciate the balance. 2) I loved that you guys did a two-part series. I always felt the previous podcasts were a bit short and couldn’t tease out the issues.

    A suggestion for Mike: try not to sound too flustered and high-strung when you’re making your arguments. About every time you start to make an argument, you gasp for air or kinda make this sigh as though everything is really annoying you. If you don’t believe me, just go back and listen to yourself as you’re about to respond to a comment.

    Overall, great episode! Keep it up!

  21. Jason Reply

    This was the best podcast yet. A couple of reasons for this: 1) Mike was much more vocal and able to express counter-arguments than I’ve heard him before. I appreciate the balance. 2) I loved that you guys did a two-part series. I always felt the previous podcasts were a bit short and couldn’t tease out the issues.

    A suggestion for Mike: try not to sound too flustered and high-strung when you’re making your arguments. About every time you start to make an argument, you gasp for air or kinda make this sigh as though everything is really annoying you. If you don’t believe me, just go back and listen to yourself as you’re about to respond to a comment.

    Overall, great episode! Keep it up!

  22. Eric Comstock Reply

    There was a comment that Nyal was trying to make when he spoke about the idea that the atonement was being trumped by the promises that women were receiving when they were “invited” to practice polygamy. He said that women were being promised that if they practiced celestial marriage that they and their families would receive eternal salvation. Nyal then tried to suggest that because of this, the sacrifice that Jesus made seemed to not be necessary (at least that was my understanding). I agreed with Nyal on this point. After reading Mysteries of Godliness it seemed to me that the leaders of the church back then were replacing the atonement with “celestial marriage”. The only way a man could get to the celestial kingdom was to support plural marriage. The only way a woman could get to the celestial kingdom was through her husband.

  23. Eric Comstock Reply

    There was a comment that Nyal was trying to make when he spoke about the idea that the atonement was being trumped by the promises that women were receiving when they were “invited” to practice polygamy. He said that women were being promised that if they practiced celestial marriage that they and their families would receive eternal salvation. Nyal then tried to suggest that because of this, the sacrifice that Jesus made seemed to not be necessary (at least that was my understanding). I agreed with Nyal on this point. After reading Mysteries of Godliness it seemed to me that the leaders of the church back then were replacing the atonement with “celestial marriage”. The only way a man could get to the celestial kingdom was to support plural marriage. The only way a woman could get to the celestial kingdom was through her husband.

  24. Swearing Elder Reply

    When I was a believing member I couldn’t understand for the life of me what the justification was for destroying the Expositor. Well, duh, there wasn’t one (not a valid one anyway). It was just that Joseph was pissed that his lies were being exposed.

    I agree with John’s comment that Mormonism would have withered away had Joseph lived a long life. It was catching up to him.

  25. Swearing Elder Reply

    When I was a believing member I couldn’t understand for the life of me what the justification was for destroying the Expositor. Well, duh, there wasn’t one (not a valid one anyway). It was just that Joseph was pissed that his lies were being exposed.

    I agree with John’s comment that Mormonism would have withered away had Joseph lived a long life. It was catching up to him.

  26. Digital Mayhem Reply

    Excellent podcast! I am a one month subscriber and avid listener. thank you all for your insights.

    As with many aspects of church history, I find the Nauvoo period a difficult pill to swallow. I have been on both sides of the argument and haven’t felt peace from any perspective; it was a dark time for values that I hold in the highest regard (namely equality, self-agency and self-actualization).

    I am awaiting a few amazon deliveries and was wondering if anyone could shed any light regarding the correlation between the legality of the press’ destruction and the order from Joseph himself or his political office/authority to do destroy the press. Did the order legally originate with Joseph? What was the grounds for the later ruling finding him guilty of treason and where did that ruling come from?
    The discussion hasn’t seemed to come full circle for me yet.

    A sincere thank you John and panelists, I eagerly await future discussions; they have been immeasurably beneficial for me and my journey.

  27. Digital Mayhem Reply

    Excellent podcast! I am a one month subscriber and avid listener. thank you all for your insights.

    As with many aspects of church history, I find the Nauvoo period a difficult pill to swallow. I have been on both sides of the argument and haven’t felt peace from any perspective; it was a dark time for values that I hold in the highest regard (namely equality, self-agency and self-actualization).

    I am awaiting a few amazon deliveries and was wondering if anyone could shed any light regarding the correlation between the legality of the press’ destruction and the order from Joseph himself or his political office/authority to do destroy the press. Did the order legally originate with Joseph? What was the grounds for the later ruling finding him guilty of treason and where did that ruling come from?
    The discussion hasn’t seemed to come full circle for me yet.

    A sincere thank you John and panelists, I eagerly await future discussions; they have been immeasurably beneficial for me and my journey.

  28. badseed Reply

    Interesting Discussion. Again, credit to Mike for taking the role of apologist. Not an easy task IMO.

    My take on the Expositor is even if the city council was in it’s legal rights to stop publication they took things too far. Even more important is the fact that the claims of libel and slander are on thin ice. I have yet to find any serious false claims in the first edition of the newspaper. So the claims of legality seem pretty hollow to me.

    The Expositor received treatment similar to that of Nancy Rigdon and Martha Brotherton for spilling the polygamy beans— and then some. It’s hard to say whether- as Mike says- Joseph and the polygamist inner circle were looking out for the Saints in both cases but it wouldn’t have hurt their own situation either. Polygamy was protected at all cost— for those practicing at least as much as the Church. Hell, those practicing were the Church— more specifically the leadership of the Church

    As some in the podcast mentioned, it seems that there was an issue larger than just the Expositor. Polygamy was not sustainable in Nauvoo. It was too offensive to the surrounding community and even a good part of the Church. The splits that occur in 1844 are mainly over the Principle.

    IMO the Expositor event was just the ignition point in a growing conflict over polygamy and ‘King Follet’ Mormonism.

  29. badseed Reply

    Interesting Discussion. Again, credit to Mike for taking the role of apologist. Not an easy task IMO.

    My take on the Expositor is even if the city council was in it’s legal rights to stop publication they took things too far. Even more important is the fact that the claims of libel and slander are on thin ice. I have yet to find any serious false claims in the first edition of the newspaper. So the claims of legality seem pretty hollow to me.

    The Expositor received treatment similar to that of Nancy Rigdon and Martha Brotherton for spilling the polygamy beans— and then some. It’s hard to say whether- as Mike says- Joseph and the polygamist inner circle were looking out for the Saints in both cases but it wouldn’t have hurt their own situation either. Polygamy was protected at all cost— for those practicing at least as much as the Church. Hell, those practicing were the Church— more specifically the leadership of the Church

    As some in the podcast mentioned, it seems that there was an issue larger than just the Expositor. Polygamy was not sustainable in Nauvoo. It was too offensive to the surrounding community and even a good part of the Church. The splits that occur in 1844 are mainly over the Principle.

    IMO the Expositor event was just the ignition point in a growing conflict over polygamy and ‘King Follet’ Mormonism.

  30. badseed Reply

    To Digital Mayhem-

    Someone else can help me out here but I think the charges of treason stemmed from Joseph declaring marshal law in Nauvoo following the destruction of the press. Joseph had been aquitted of all earlier charges in Nauvoo and I think there was an effort to create something that would hold him over to stand trial.

    I know just enough to be dangerous. Anyone else???

  31. badseed Reply

    To Digital Mayhem-

    Someone else can help me out here but I think the charges of treason stemmed from Joseph declaring marshal law in Nauvoo following the destruction of the press. Joseph had been aquitted of all earlier charges in Nauvoo and I think there was an effort to create something that would hold him over to stand trial.

    I know just enough to be dangerous. Anyone else???

  32. Oz Reply

    Nauvoo the Beautiful!!!

    That was a fun podcast guys. After reading Rough Stone Rolling and Mormon Enigma, my crystal clear vision of Nauvoo got real shady. Was it a beautiful place of peace and happiness – a place to raise saints or was it a place of dishonesty, back door deals, and excessive abuse of power? The answer is Yes, it was all of that. I agree with Mike, Joseph was trying to progress the gospel, bring new doctrines, create an atmosphere of dedicated saints, and provide protection for the church. But at what price? There were those who were excluded or pushed out of the inner circles and felt slighted by Joseph, disagreed with the new doctrines, felt that their freedoms of providing a living for themselves was controlled or taken away. Nauvoo was beautiful to the believers and an ugly mess for the rest.

    Its fascinating to read the accounts of those who lived there…I swear for some, “Zippity Do Dah” must have been playing in their heads 24/7. But for others it was out of control. I can only imagine the feelings of confusion felt by those faithful saints caught in the middle of the various situations. There is this story in Mormon Enigma about polygamy. (I’m paraphrasing) Joseph and Emma had this constant back and forth argument/agreement about the principle, Joseph lied to her and said he would stop it, and eventually told Emma or gave Emma the impression that it was wrong or will go away, all the while secretly/sacredly practicing it and asking others to practice it. Well, Emma as Relief Society President addressed the Relief Society sisters that the Prophet said polygamy was wrong. There were sisters in the meeting who secretly had been married to Joseph and to others who were told it was God’s will. I can only imagine what those sisters might have thought about themselves, “am I doing wrong?, Joseph said it was ok, Emma said he said its evil.” The confusion and distress must have been terrible for these people.

    I believe the producers of the Expositor were sincere in their convictions about the status of the church, and I think they were pissed off too, and looking to hurt Joseph and those who followed. There is nothing that I read in the paper that isn’t true, nor do I feel that it was exagerrated like most anti publications. Joseph had a history of exploding on people who were disloyal to him, I believe Joseph was pissed off right along with the others. We can’t pin the decision to destroy the press on Joseph only…I’m sure a lot of people wanted to do much worse things to those men. But in attempt to make it legal, they said it was a city council decision. It was a bad decision. Unfortunately, they paid with their lives.

    I believe 1844 Nauvoo was a beautiful place and a terrible mess. I look at it for what it was.

  33. Oz Reply

    Nauvoo the Beautiful!!!

    That was a fun podcast guys. After reading Rough Stone Rolling and Mormon Enigma, my crystal clear vision of Nauvoo got real shady. Was it a beautiful place of peace and happiness – a place to raise saints or was it a place of dishonesty, back door deals, and excessive abuse of power? The answer is Yes, it was all of that. I agree with Mike, Joseph was trying to progress the gospel, bring new doctrines, create an atmosphere of dedicated saints, and provide protection for the church. But at what price? There were those who were excluded or pushed out of the inner circles and felt slighted by Joseph, disagreed with the new doctrines, felt that their freedoms of providing a living for themselves was controlled or taken away. Nauvoo was beautiful to the believers and an ugly mess for the rest.

    Its fascinating to read the accounts of those who lived there…I swear for some, “Zippity Do Dah” must have been playing in their heads 24/7. But for others it was out of control. I can only imagine the feelings of confusion felt by those faithful saints caught in the middle of the various situations. There is this story in Mormon Enigma about polygamy. (I’m paraphrasing) Joseph and Emma had this constant back and forth argument/agreement about the principle, Joseph lied to her and said he would stop it, and eventually told Emma or gave Emma the impression that it was wrong or will go away, all the while secretly/sacredly practicing it and asking others to practice it. Well, Emma as Relief Society President addressed the Relief Society sisters that the Prophet said polygamy was wrong. There were sisters in the meeting who secretly had been married to Joseph and to others who were told it was God’s will. I can only imagine what those sisters might have thought about themselves, “am I doing wrong?, Joseph said it was ok, Emma said he said its evil.” The confusion and distress must have been terrible for these people.

    I believe the producers of the Expositor were sincere in their convictions about the status of the church, and I think they were pissed off too, and looking to hurt Joseph and those who followed. There is nothing that I read in the paper that isn’t true, nor do I feel that it was exagerrated like most anti publications. Joseph had a history of exploding on people who were disloyal to him, I believe Joseph was pissed off right along with the others. We can’t pin the decision to destroy the press on Joseph only…I’m sure a lot of people wanted to do much worse things to those men. But in attempt to make it legal, they said it was a city council decision. It was a bad decision. Unfortunately, they paid with their lives.

    I believe 1844 Nauvoo was a beautiful place and a terrible mess. I look at it for what it was.

  34. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Fascinating podcasts. I think we have some of the same things at work in the church today on a less dramatic scale. When secrets are kept people feel violated, and the secret keepers feel a need to continue to keep secrets secret.

    There are many examples of this. When people go to our protestantesk none ritualistic Sunday service for years with know idea of the completely different world that lay beyond the temple doors. Taking out endowments is a very emotionally disturbing process, and the same people in their lives that were so absent in their preparation continue to be absent in their struggle to come to terms with their faith.

    People that grow up in the church, graduate from seminary, serve missions, graduate from BYU with no idea of some of the more disturbing elements of LDS history they tend to feel violated when they come face to face with these elements of our history. By the same token when most Mormons are confronted with anti Mormon lit even that which has some viability we tend to state it all a lie instead of confronting it head on.

    The church continues to make this same mistake that Joseph Smith did here. You reference the hiding history which when the church defend their sanitized version makes lairs out of them. The Catholic church have many worse things commonly know about their history and they still are the largest christian sect. Also the way the church’s P.R. department is so reactive makes the church look like idiots. Two examples. When last year the HBO show “Big Love” depicted a very short depiction of part of the temple ceremony, I might add very respectfully, LDS P.R. had to drown on about it. For goodness sakes why does the Church of Jesus Christ even need to concern it self with this trivial thing when you can find the whole endowment with a Google search? The second is the church PR response to the whole gay cheek kiss on temple square. Each successive Press Release by the church got more and more colorful, and when the church’s own video was made public some how all the church was saying was not backed up.

    Why can’t the church just man up and face the good with the bad? Why must they insisted there are and never where any mistakes?

  35. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    Fascinating podcasts. I think we have some of the same things at work in the church today on a less dramatic scale. When secrets are kept people feel violated, and the secret keepers feel a need to continue to keep secrets secret.

    There are many examples of this. When people go to our protestantesk none ritualistic Sunday service for years with know idea of the completely different world that lay beyond the temple doors. Taking out endowments is a very emotionally disturbing process, and the same people in their lives that were so absent in their preparation continue to be absent in their struggle to come to terms with their faith.

    People that grow up in the church, graduate from seminary, serve missions, graduate from BYU with no idea of some of the more disturbing elements of LDS history they tend to feel violated when they come face to face with these elements of our history. By the same token when most Mormons are confronted with anti Mormon lit even that which has some viability we tend to state it all a lie instead of confronting it head on.

    The church continues to make this same mistake that Joseph Smith did here. You reference the hiding history which when the church defend their sanitized version makes lairs out of them. The Catholic church have many worse things commonly know about their history and they still are the largest christian sect. Also the way the church’s P.R. department is so reactive makes the church look like idiots. Two examples. When last year the HBO show “Big Love” depicted a very short depiction of part of the temple ceremony, I might add very respectfully, LDS P.R. had to drown on about it. For goodness sakes why does the Church of Jesus Christ even need to concern it self with this trivial thing when you can find the whole endowment with a Google search? The second is the church PR response to the whole gay cheek kiss on temple square. Each successive Press Release by the church got more and more colorful, and when the church’s own video was made public some how all the church was saying was not backed up.

    Why can’t the church just man up and face the good with the bad? Why must they insisted there are and never where any mistakes?

  36. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    I would like to comment on whether the requirements of ordinances are a departure from Christianity. I think there are many examples of main stream christian churches requiring ritualistic performances. One of the biggest examples of this is the Catholic church which is arguably the largest and the oldest of these. They require how many sacraments? Which are in my opinion there word for ordinances or our word for sacraments is ordinance. There are also many protestant denominations that believe baptism is necessary. Depending on your personal belief of the atonement you could argue requiring ritual is against the atonement, but I do not believe you can argue that this is a departure from Christianity. No you can not leak the doctrine of outward performance, ritual, or ordinances, whatever you want to call them to Christ’ personal teachings, but neither can you link the doctrine of the atonement to Christ’s teachings.

  37. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    I would like to comment on whether the requirements of ordinances are a departure from Christianity. I think there are many examples of main stream christian churches requiring ritualistic performances. One of the biggest examples of this is the Catholic church which is arguably the largest and the oldest of these. They require how many sacraments? Which are in my opinion there word for ordinances or our word for sacraments is ordinance. There are also many protestant denominations that believe baptism is necessary. Depending on your personal belief of the atonement you could argue requiring ritual is against the atonement, but I do not believe you can argue that this is a departure from Christianity. No you can not leak the doctrine of outward performance, ritual, or ordinances, whatever you want to call them to Christ’ personal teachings, but neither can you link the doctrine of the atonement to Christ’s teachings.

  38. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    I would also like to comment on your argument about Joseph Smith having everything he needed not to make these mistakes if he was a prophet.

    An inability to make big mistakes would negate almost all at least biblical prophets from being truly prophets. Admittedly New testament and even more the Book of Mormon gives us a pretty tidy view of prophets in comparison to the Old Testament. I don’t believe a prophet would necessarily be require to always consult God or even always get the right answer when they do to be a prophet. On a daily bases you could believe a prophet operates much like most people do with in there callings doing the best they can and being subject to countless frailties of the flesh.

    I also believe there is some truth to the argument about the difference between Joseph Smith and the leaders of today’s church. Joseph Smith was Joseph Smith partly because he was a rebel and reckless. Would not these characteristics be required for him to do any of the things he did. And just as we are prisoners of our aptitudes, prejudices, and culture would not he be as well? Where as today’s church leaders are chosen for the for very diffrent characteristics other than being rebels and acting rcklessly. They are chosen because they are conservative, careful, and likely will do nothing to embarrass the church. Nauvoo by today’s standards was a pretty small town. Everyone in everyone’s business, and Joseph being Joseph was at the center of everyone’s business. Every mistake he make we shine a spot light on. Where the church today is a far bigger community. By the time someone get’s to the twelve they have gone through a long vetting process. They are chosen not only for their abilities and hopefully their spirituality but because they have stayed out of the lime light as well as there ability to at lest in public to keep the party line. By the time they make it to be prophet they are senor citizens and have had the church protecting, and managing there image for many years. Who do we feel Pres. Manson is, a kind, good story teller, that was a supper human bishop when he was 23? I think there is a lot more to him than that, but what we see are these rock star type montages of him being adored by thousands while We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet plays in the back ground.

    Not that this proves Joseph Smith a prophet. I just don’t believe that any of these even masive flub ups are proof to the contrary either.

  39. Gail F. Bartholomew Reply

    I would also like to comment on your argument about Joseph Smith having everything he needed not to make these mistakes if he was a prophet.

    An inability to make big mistakes would negate almost all at least biblical prophets from being truly prophets. Admittedly New testament and even more the Book of Mormon gives us a pretty tidy view of prophets in comparison to the Old Testament. I don’t believe a prophet would necessarily be require to always consult God or even always get the right answer when they do to be a prophet. On a daily bases you could believe a prophet operates much like most people do with in there callings doing the best they can and being subject to countless frailties of the flesh.

    I also believe there is some truth to the argument about the difference between Joseph Smith and the leaders of today’s church. Joseph Smith was Joseph Smith partly because he was a rebel and reckless. Would not these characteristics be required for him to do any of the things he did. And just as we are prisoners of our aptitudes, prejudices, and culture would not he be as well? Where as today’s church leaders are chosen for the for very diffrent characteristics other than being rebels and acting rcklessly. They are chosen because they are conservative, careful, and likely will do nothing to embarrass the church. Nauvoo by today’s standards was a pretty small town. Everyone in everyone’s business, and Joseph being Joseph was at the center of everyone’s business. Every mistake he make we shine a spot light on. Where the church today is a far bigger community. By the time someone get’s to the twelve they have gone through a long vetting process. They are chosen not only for their abilities and hopefully their spirituality but because they have stayed out of the lime light as well as there ability to at lest in public to keep the party line. By the time they make it to be prophet they are senor citizens and have had the church protecting, and managing there image for many years. Who do we feel Pres. Manson is, a kind, good story teller, that was a supper human bishop when he was 23? I think there is a lot more to him than that, but what we see are these rock star type montages of him being adored by thousands while We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet plays in the back ground.

    Not that this proves Joseph Smith a prophet. I just don’t believe that any of these even masive flub ups are proof to the contrary either.

  40. James Mitchell Reply

    Great podcasts guys. I like the light-hearted ones (Three Nephites) as well as these more intellectually driven podcasts.

    Thanks for your work.

  41. James Mitchell Reply

    Great podcasts guys. I like the light-hearted ones (Three Nephites) as well as these more intellectually driven podcasts.

    Thanks for your work.

  42. Mister IT Reply

    >Why can’t the church just man up and face the good with the bad? Why must they insisted there are and never where any mistakes?<

    I thought that Ron Higgins answered this nicely in his review of "Massacre at Mountain Meadows: An American Tragedy" (which was a LdS Church funded scholarly white wash of The Mountain Meadows Massacre) when he said:

    "Hopefully the LDS Church will someday come to a place psychologically where they are willing to take a look at their own past honestly and without having to boost themselves up by trying to recast motives and personae to fit a modern Mormon ideal. Until then the greatest enemy to good Mormon history will continue to be the LDS institution itself. Mormon individuals who are having difficulty understanding or sympathizing with what I am saying, would be greatly helped by reading Ron Enroth's book, Churches that Abuse,[39] which, although I doubt it ever mentions the LDS Church, still deals with churches with similar mindsets.
    [39] Ronald M. Enroth, Churches that Abuse (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992)."
    http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no111.htm#Review

  43. Mister IT Reply

    >Why can’t the church just man up and face the good with the bad? Why must they insisted there are and never where any mistakes?<

    I thought that Ron Higgins answered this nicely in his review of "Massacre at Mountain Meadows: An American Tragedy" (which was a LdS Church funded scholarly white wash of The Mountain Meadows Massacre) when he said:

    "Hopefully the LDS Church will someday come to a place psychologically where they are willing to take a look at their own past honestly and without having to boost themselves up by trying to recast motives and personae to fit a modern Mormon ideal. Until then the greatest enemy to good Mormon history will continue to be the LDS institution itself. Mormon individuals who are having difficulty understanding or sympathizing with what I am saying, would be greatly helped by reading Ron Enroth's book, Churches that Abuse,[39] which, although I doubt it ever mentions the LDS Church, still deals with churches with similar mindsets.
    [39] Ronald M. Enroth, Churches that Abuse (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992)."
    http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no111.htm#Review

  44. Mister IT Reply

    First I want to add my “Amen” to Aaron’s post too! Well said Aaron – you took the words out of my mouth.

    Second, I want to express my appreciation to Mike for his continued participation on these podcasts. I’m sure that it’s not easy but he’s a real trooper, and I believe, a genuinely great guy!

    Third, I want to express my appreciation to John for doing such a great job of moderating and maintaining an objective stance through what are often rather “tricky” moments in the shows. Frankly I don’t know how you do it because I find myself constantly guffawing and injecting editorial comments at some of the chronically illogical, irrational, and unsustainable things that a particular member of the panel is prone to assert.

    Finally, and on that note, I want thank Mike again for reminding us of the unifying principles that every True Believing Mormon has had to adhere throughout Mormon History to in order to remain a True Believing Mormon:

    1) Concluded: Joseph Smith was the true prophet of the restoration, called of God for these latter days.

    2) Resolved: There is no bending and no compromise on #1.

    3) If the facts don’t adhere to #1 I must bend the facts to fit the conclusion.

    And of course these unifying principles combine to become the keystone of Mormonism which is:

    “I believe because I want to believe!”

    Thank you for letting me share and keep up the great work. I was absolutely riveted throughout this podcast and had several “driveway moments” as I worked my way through it.

  45. Mister IT Reply

    First I want to add my “Amen” to Aaron’s post too! Well said Aaron – you took the words out of my mouth.

    Second, I want to express my appreciation to Mike for his continued participation on these podcasts. I’m sure that it’s not easy but he’s a real trooper, and I believe, a genuinely great guy!

    Third, I want to express my appreciation to John for doing such a great job of moderating and maintaining an objective stance through what are often rather “tricky” moments in the shows. Frankly I don’t know how you do it because I find myself constantly guffawing and injecting editorial comments at some of the chronically illogical, irrational, and unsustainable things that a particular member of the panel is prone to assert.

    Finally, and on that note, I want thank Mike again for reminding us of the unifying principles that every True Believing Mormon has had to adhere throughout Mormon History to in order to remain a True Believing Mormon:

    1) Concluded: Joseph Smith was the true prophet of the restoration, called of God for these latter days.

    2) Resolved: There is no bending and no compromise on #1.

    3) If the facts don’t adhere to #1 I must bend the facts to fit the conclusion.

    And of course these unifying principles combine to become the keystone of Mormonism which is:

    “I believe because I want to believe!”

    Thank you for letting me share and keep up the great work. I was absolutely riveted throughout this podcast and had several “driveway moments” as I worked my way through it.

  46. Buffalo Reply

    The discussion about legality vs morality was a waste of time, I think, and had nothing to do with this topic. Still, great podcast.

  47. Steve Lowther Reply

    I have sympathy for Mike Tannehill. It is not easy contributing to a discussion from the apologetic viewpoint. There is a little historical evidence to defend Joseph, but not much.

    Of course the Church doesn’t want to release the minutes of the Council of Fifty! It is very damning! We know that from the glimpses we have had of it. It is natural the other guys in the discussion have to be careful not to accidentally steamroll him. I was an apologist long ago. Very difficult to sustain an attack when there are so many sources from the Church itself apologists are not normally familiar with.

    But probably the hierarchy including Joseph’s worst mistake of all is employing outright lies so profusely. Their polygamy was never legal in any state at any time, and the “Lying for the Lord” (their term) is moral relativism, and is frankly indefensible. It takes a great deal of mental gymnastics to justify it, and it never feels right in the end. .

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