How do Mormon's justify Smith's wives stories??

I posted this in the middle of another thread and would love some discussion on this. I think reading the stories of Joseph’s S,iths wives tells volumes about the character of this man. If a man has really bad character thoughout his life, does God use him as a prophet and continue to use him as an infallible deliverer of God’s Word?? I don’t see precident for this in the Bible.

The following excerpt is from www.wivesojosepphsmith.org, and this is the story of one of his wives.

Did you know Joseph Smith acquired more than 30 wives in TWO YEARS?? And he “knew” them all, in the Biblical sense. He didn’'t waste anytime; marriages were consummated immediately.

My Mormon friend offered that Smiths polygamy was a kind of heroism since in those rough pioneer days woman needed protection. Then I re-read some of these stories and realized that a lot of these women wer ALREADY married!! Anyway, here is the story of just one [WARNING: Brace yourself: Smith was a first class creep!]:

ZINA HUNTINGTON JACOBS

In 1839, the Huntington family arrived in Nauvoo, along with daughter, Zina. Within months, Zina’s Mother died from the malaria epidemic which claimed the lives of many of the early Nauvoo settlers. About this same time, Zina met and was courted by Henry B. Jacobs, a handsome and talented musician. Sometime during Henry’s courtship of Zina, Joseph Smith explained to Zina the “principle of plural marriage” and asked her to become one of his wives. Zina remembers the conflict she felt about Joseph’s proposal, and her budding relationship with Henry: “O dear Heaven, grant me wisdom! Help me to know the way. O Lord, my god, let thy will be done and with thine arm around about to guide, shield and direct…” Zina declined Joseph’s proposal and chose to marry Henry. They were married on March 7, 1841.

Zina later wrote, that within months of her marriage to Henry, “[Joseph] sent word to me by my brother, saying, ‘Tell Zina, I put it off and put it off till an angel with a drawn sword stood by me and told me if I did not establish that principle upon the earth I would lose my position and my life’”. Joseph further explained that, “the Lord had made it known to him she was to be his celestial wife.”

Zina chose to obey this commandment and married Joseph on October 27. She later recalled, “When I heard that God had revealed the law of celestial marriag…I obtained a testimony for myself that God had required that order to be established in this church…I made a greater sacrifise than to give my life for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honerable woman by those I dearly loved…”. Zina continued, *“It was something too sacred to be talked about; it was more to me than life or death. I never breathed it for years”. *

Zina’s first husband, Henry, was aware of this wedding and they continued to live in the same home. He believed that “whatever the Prophet did was right, without making the wisdom of God’s authorities bend to the reasoning of any man.” Over the next few years, Henry was sent on several missions to Chicago, Western New York and Tennessee. Henry missed his family and wrote home often. One of Henry’s missionary companions, John D. Lee, said, “Jacobs was bragging about his wife and two children, what a true, virtuous, lovely woman she was. He almost worshiped her…”.

Shortly after Joseph Smith’s death in 1844, Zina married Brigham Young. In May of 1846, Henry was sent on a mission to England. In Henry’s absence, Zina began to live openly as Brigham’s wife and remained so throughout her life in Utah. Henry seemed to struggle with this arrangement and later wrote to Zina, “…the same affection is there…But I feel alone…I do not Blame Eny person…may the Lord our Father bless Brother Brigham…all is right according to the Law of the Celestial Kingdom of our God Joseph.”

And here is one more, detailing how Joseph Smith “resuced” a motherless girl, away from her father and into his bed. What an operator.

LUCY WALKER

The Walker family arrived in Nauvoo in the spring of 1841. That summer Lucy’s Mother contracted malaria and died months later in January 1842, leaving ten children. Her Father, John, was heartbroken and his health, “seemed to give way”. Lucy remembers, “The Prophet came to the rescue. He Said, if you remain here Bro. Walker, you will soon follow your wife. You must have a change of scene, a change of climate. You have Just such a family as I could love. My house shall be their home…place the little ones with kind friends, and the four Eldest shall come to my house and [be] received and treated as my own children…”

The change of scene and climate that Joseph had in mind for John Walker was a two year mission to the eastern states. In response to this arrangement Lucy said, “I rung my hands in the agony of despair at the thought of being broken up as a family, and being sepparated from the little ones…” Never-the-less, fifteen-year-old Lucy moved into the Prophets house.

While living in the Smith home, Lucy remembers: “In the year 1842 President Joseph Smith sought an interview with me, and said, ‘I have a message for you, I have been commanded of God to take another wife, and you are the woman.’ My astonishment knew no bounds. This announcement was indeed a thunderbolt to me…He asked me if I believed him to be a Prophet of God. ‘Most assuredly I do I replied.’…He fully Explained to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage. Said this principle was again to be restored for the benefit of the human family. That it would prove an everlasting blessing to my father’s house.”

“What do you have to Say?” Joseph asked. “Nothing” Lucy replied, “How could I speak, or what would I say?” Joseph encouraged her to pray: “tempted and tortured beyond endureance until life was not desirable. Oh that the grave would kindly receive me that I might find rest on the bosom of my dear mother…Why – Why Should I be chosen from among thy daughters, Father I am only a child in years and experience. No mother to council; no father near to tell me what to do, in this trying hour. Oh let this bitter cup pass. And thus I prayed in the agony of my soul.”

Joseph told Lucy that the marriage would have to be secret, but that he would acknowledge her as his wife, “beyond the Rocky Mountains”. He then gave Lucy an ultimatum, *“It is a command of God to you. I will give you untill to-morrow to decide this matter. If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you.” *Lucy said, “This arroused every drop of scotch in my veins…I felt at this moment that I was called to place myself upon the altar a liveing Sacrafice, perhaps to brook the world in disgrace and incur the displeasure and contempt of my youthful companions; all my dreams of happiness blown to the four winds, this was too much, the thought was unbearable.”

Now, bearing the burden of her own eternal salvation and that of her family, and with a deadline approaching, Lucy prayed more fervently for an answer. She couldn’t sleep the entire night. Just before dawn, and Joseph’s deadline, she “received a powerful and irristable testimony of the truth of the mariage covenant called ‘Celestial or plural mariage’” and *“I afterwards married Joseph as a plural wife and lived and cohabitated with him as such.” *

Lucy married Joseph on May 1, 1843. At the time, Emma was in St. Louis buying supplies for the Nauvoo hotel. Lucy remembers, “Emma Smith was not present and she did not consent to the marriage; she did not know anything about it at all.”

Of the relationship, Lucy said, “It was not a love matter, so to speak, in our affairs, -at least on my part it was not, but simply the giving up of myself as a sacrifice to establish that grand and glorious principle that God had revealed to the world.”

I am moving “why me”'s comments here to answer them:

“why me” underlined this:
Now, bearing the burden of her own eternal salvation and that of her family, and with a deadline approaching, Lucy prayed more fervently for an answer. She couldn’t sleep the entire night. Just before dawn, and Joseph’s deadline, she “received a powerful and irristable testimony of the truth of the mariage covenant called ‘Celestial or plural mariage’” and *“I afterwards married Joseph as a plural wife and lived and cohabitated with him as such.” *

“Why me”, don’t you feel any sympathy for the 15 year old Lucy? Her mother has died, and Smith has talked her father into abandonning his children. Smith tells the father to give the young children (who can’t work for him or are too young for him to marry) to other people, but he will take the four eldest (who can work for him).

Then he approaches the orphanned brokenhearted 15 year old to marry him, telling her it is God’s command that she do so!

Its really sick.

Don’t you also see the abuse of power? He is a powerful leader of the religion she belongs to, claiming to be a channel of God - or God himself as some (or all?) of his contemporaries think. She has no advisor in the world. She is alone and dependant.

So no, I don’t think she was a bimbo. Only heartbroken - part of that was due to her father taking Smith’s advice, leaving on a chruch mission Smith sent him on so soon after losing her mother, and breaking up her family - also Smith’s suggestion. And dependant - also due to Joseph Smith.

“Why me” wrote:

[This is the underlined part]: She later recalled, “When I heard that God had revealed the law of celestial marriag…I obtained a testimony for myself that God had required that order to be established in this church…I made a greater sacrifise than to give my life for I never anticipated again to be looked upon as an honerable woman by those I dearly loved…”. Zina continued, *“It was something too sacred to be talked about; it was more to me than life or death. I never breathed it for years”. *
**

Maybe you haven’t studied any psychology, or observed much of human nature for that matter. Smith abused his power and not only talked Zina into this but also talked Zina’s husband into having sex with his wife.

People who use people regularly know how to size up what people are able to be used. Apparently Zina’s husband was one of those. Smith, like many abusors of power and people, we know was a highly charismatic person.

One thing common to victims of abuse is that they tell no one. Thiis is usually a requirement of the abusor. That Zina told no one of her secret marriage to Joseph is telling. But also common sense tells us that if she told anyone she was sleeping with Smith while married to her husband, people would have no sympathy for her, and call it what it was: adultery.

God doesn’t incite people to adultery!!!

**

This is not exactly the whole story. Lucy was 17 at the time of the sealing to Joseph Smith. But before Joseph asked her to marry him, he asked her brother for consent to marry her. The brother told him it was up to lucy to decide. Lucy reacted negatively and then when she prayed about it she received a powerful witness that the principle was true. What to do?

“Ricko” wrote this::
http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Re: Why are people mormon considering it is obvioulsy fabricated?
Parker, what were you saying about FEAR in the Catholic Church? Does not the sight of an angel with a drawn sword and swearing to kill constitute fear?

Zina later wrote, that within months of her marriage to Henry, “[Joseph] sent word to me by my brother, saying, ‘Tell Zina, I put it off and put it off till an angel with a drawn sword stood by me and told me if I did not establish that principle upon the earth I would lose my position and my life’”. Joseph further explained that, “the Lord had made it known to him she was to be his celestial wife.”

And this:

He then gave Lucy an ultimatum, “It is a command of God to you. I will give you untill to-morrow to decide this matter. If you reject this message the gate will be closed forever against you.”


RICK

She also received a powerful witness that the prinicple was true. What should I say? I cannot challenge her testimony and claim that she did not receive it. And she found the whole experience sacred.

Whatever happened Zina and lucy received a witness that the prinicple was true. And they consented to be sealed to Joseph Smith. Without that testimony or witness, they would not have been sealed to him.

This is “Why me”'s comment:

Why Me, you use a person’s private revelation from God in your arguments a lot. I have a problem with this. Lots of people say “God told me to do it” when they murder, lie, steal, rape. Smiths action’s here with these woman is lying stealing and pretty much you could make an argument for rape - certainly statutory rape. But its all okay for Smith since he says God told him to.

What about the pressure on Zina to keep belieivng that she did all this for a good reason?

Okay, I see - she must have just turned 17 then because she was 15 when he first told her God wanted her to marry him. And she was living in his home when he asked her.

But again, people say they receive powerful witnesses from God to lie, murder, steal, rape, and start their own religions. Which private revelations are true? How do you judge?

The Catholic Church says we are free to believe private revelation - so long as it does not disagreee with anything God has ordained. Since God has ordained that marriage be between one man and one woman, not “one woman and two men”, or “one man and 34 women”, we can be absolutely sure that the marraige of Joseph Smith and Zina was not of God.

So the “private revelations” and “powerful testamony” were either a figment of Zina and Joseph’s imaginations, or that of a lustful man looking to collect another women to bed and the influence of a powerful and persuasive man on a young dependant woman, or two people listening to the whisperings of the devil. We don’t know, but we* do* know it wasn’t God’s revelation.

Why Me, just because someone says “God told me to do it” does not mean God told them to do it.

You say they would not have been “sealed” without that “recieved witness”. That is only your opinion. You cannot know that without going into their minds and seeing their thoughts and their conscience, and I don’t think you are crazy enough to think you can do that.

But you can look at it circumstantially, and see that they have both done something that decent moral society throughout all time has called greatly shameful. By accepting their “sealing” they received from the Mormon heiracrhy an official stamp of approval on their shame.

Thats a very compelling incentive.

Sweetnay wrote:

And Parker wrote:

I am interested in Victorian prose, and writing styles. Can you tell me what you see is amiss here?

I find it all compelling and believable. I am wondering if you are not just bullheadedly detracting anything that detracts from your Mormon religion, which you perhaps find justified because you think everything taught to you in your church is true.

That wouldn’t have mattered. For both Lucy and Zina the importantance was with the witness they received and it must have been a powerful witness bacause to my understanding they remained faithful members throughout their lives.

Now there is a question as to whether these were actual marriages. For example, his first wife Fanny Alger eventually left the mormon settlement with her relatives and shortly after married. This was in the 1830’s. She had several children with her husband and when asked about her marriage to JS after his death by her brother, she replied that it was her own business. To my knowledge she never said a negative word about JS. In fact, no women who was his wife ever said a negative word about him

And women could have said no. For example, Nancy Rigdon, Sidney Rigdon’s daughter refused JS. And sidney was out of sorts about JS asking his daughter to marry him.

It sounds crazy to say Joseph Smith was no fan of polygamy when he had 34 wives.

The fact is he made public statements against polygamy when he had already acquired and slept with many of his secret extra wives. So those statements against polygamy were obviously lies.

Who is the father of lies, anyway?

Perhaps becasue as a Mormon you spent so much time learning Smith Apopogetics and readign the Book of Mormon and listening to testimonies about it and pagents on it that you did not have much time for the Bible.

When you read the Bible you see the difference between the God of the Bible and the prophets he chose vs. the “god” that worked for Smith.

God doesn’t ever and would not ever set out one of His prophets on a* rampage* of marrying women, many of them very young teens, many women already married to one husband, (or in Zina’s case, a women already being courted by an eligable young man her own age, and then reapproached by Smith *after *her marriage), in order to “enact a principle”.

This story of Fanny Young is telling. The whole story is interesting and can be read here: wivesofjosephsmith.org/34-FannyYoung.htm This is a version I shorteneed. Fanny was one of a handful of older wives. Quite an impromtu proposal here. It doesn’t sound like he had any time to ask God if this is what he should do.

In 1832, Fanny married Roswell Murray. The marriage drew the Kimball and Young families closer together… In April of that year, Fanny was baptized into the Mormon church along with others in the Young family, including Brigham. Roswell, however, did not join. Helen Mar remembers, “My Grandfather Murray was not a member of any church…A more noble kind-hearted man never lived, he was generous to a fault, and some were unprincipled enough to take advantage of it…He was never known to refuse a favor, and he would often rise from his bed when he was sick to go and do a job of work to accommodate a neighbor. He was a man of but few words and some called him an Infidel.”

Fanny and Roswell moved to Kirtland, Missouri and eventually Nauvoo, arriving in 1839. Shortly after arriving, Roswell died and Fanny was left single. In Nauvoo, Brigham Young became a close friend of Joseph Smith and accepted Joseph’s teachings on plural marriage. Brigham remembers the fall of 1843 when he, Joseph and Fanny were discussing the Mormon belief in the necessity of entering plural marriage in order to obtain exaltation and enter the celestial kingdom. Not won over, Fanny remarked, *“Now, don’t talk to me; when I get into the celestial kingdom, if I ever get there, I shall request the privilege of being a ministering angel; that is the labor I wish to perform. I don’t want any companion in that world; and if the Lord will make me a ministering angel, it is all I want.” *Joseph replied, “Sister, you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want.” and then turned to Brigham, “Here, Brother Brigham, you seal this lady to me.” Brigham said that Fanny submitted to Joseph’s impromptu proposal and he “sealed her to him.” Joseph was killed less than a year later and Fanny was once again widowed.
In 1846, when the Nauvoo Temple was nearly complete, most of Joseph’s wives were “resealed” to him, via a proxy husband, within the dedicated structure. For some reason, Fanny was not resealed to Joseph. Perhaps she longed for her “kind-hearted” Roswell.

Either that or Smith on top of being powerful was charming and flattering.

It sounds like Fanny did not want to talk about it at all - negative or postive. Certainly makes sense she wanted to put her past behind her.

The story of Smith’s 16 year old second “wife” (Smith’s extra wives were what we commonly call concubines) Fanny Alger is here: Basically, Smith invited Fanny to live in thier home to help his wife with the house and children, and was seen by others like an “adopted daughter” and Smith’s first wife Emma was very loving and motherly to her. Smith relations with the “adopted daughter” were secret from Emma, so when Emma found out,"…Emma was furious, and drove the girl, who was unable to conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the prophet, out of her house”.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

The same way pope alexandar justifyed his active sex life.

They don’t need to, so they don’t.

Well I did not know he had all these wifs I know he had about 4 or5. the man did get around, Joe was nothing more then a con man he was not a prophet of God.
The Golden Plated are a freak and I do not think he had any golden plated I believe , that was just another
He all so was kill in a gun fight lie,He church is a lie and is nother more then a cult and is not christian .
Sorry but I can not get back to fix my spelling and my grammar for give me

Apparently Pope Alexander was one of the bad popes. I don’t know his story; never came across it, and I have read a lot about Catholicism! You see, he’s not one of our heroes.

Unlike Joseph Smith - he is the hero of his own religion. Thats the* big difference*.

True Popes who were also sinners, such as the one you allege here, are an interesting witness to the infallibility of the Popes. They are not impeccable persons, only infallible in their statements on faith and morals that concern the Chruch. Whatever a bad pope practised, he didn’t preach it. No wrong matter on faith an morals has ever been taught by any Pope in the 2009+ year history of the Church. Thats not possible without the intervening grace of God.

Yes, we have big sinner Popes just as Jesus had a big sinner apostle. God can and does work with cracked pots.

So what?

Many a pope did many twisted things in their private life. Fathering children is the least of it.

Her question is how is it justifyed?

The answer can only be one.

Because they CAN.

With absolute power…

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