Friday, February 15, 2008

Mormon Persecution or Defiance of the Law?

THE REAL REASON THE MORMONS WERE FORCED FROM ILLINOIS:

On the front page of The Hawk Eye, January 27, 2008, is large picture of a Mormon on his horse depicting the Mormon Pioneer Trail journey. The lengthy article goes on to page 7A. On page 7A is an insert titled “History of the Mormon Pioneer Trail.” The insert states “Political and religious pressure from their neighbors, however, forced them to leave Illinois in 1846.” This statement is deceptively vague.

What the article doesn’t say is why this event happened. Why were the Mormons forced from the State of Illinois? Ask any Mormon and they will immediately tell you it was because of religious persecution. Mormons are taught this by their Church and truly believe this; however, is this true? The simple answer is: No. Was “religious persecution” involved? Undoubtedly. But the real reason that the Mormons were forced from the State of Illinois was the absolute abuse of the law by their leadership. The State of Illinois could simply tolerate no more the refusal by the Mormon leadership to obey the laws of the United States, the State of Illinois and the County of Hancock.

When the turmoil surrounding the Mormons being expelled from the State was happening, the voice of reason was the town of Quincy, Illinois, which was known for giving the Mormons refuge when they were expelled from Missouri.
On the front page of the July 24, 1844 issue of the Quincy Herald Whig, just under 30 days after Joseph Smith’s murder in the Carthage Jail, is an article that clearly defines the total disregard for the law by the Mormon community. This article is more than a year and a half before the Mormons were expelled and gives defined instances of the abuses of the law that were being done in Nauvoo, Illinois. These abuses were the reason that the Governor of Illinois put in place his order for the Mormons to be removed from the State. For the Mormons to claim that persecution was the reason for their removal vice the truth that their leadership was in total defiance of the law is a rewriting of history to garner sympathy from an unknowing public and an active attempt to hide the truth; persecution plays well in the press, defiance of the law doesn’t. The following is a quote taken from the July 24, 1844 front page article of the Quincy Herald Whig, which lays out some of the abuses of the law that were being exercised by the Mormon Leaders in Nauvoo, in direct defiance of the laws of the United States, the State of Illinois, and the County of Hancock: “Who does not know the fact that one short year since Joseph Smith, when arrested by the authority of the governor of this state, upon a demand made by the governor of Missouri, discharged himself from custody by a mock trial upon habeas corpus before his creatures, the city council of Nauvoo, he himself being president of that same city council, as mayor of the city! Who does not know that this successful defiance of the laws of this state, and of process emanating from its highest executive authority, is but one instance out of many. Let me enumerate a few of them. The authorities of Nauvoo have assumed and exercised the power— To establish a recorder’s office for the record of deeds, independent of that provided for by the state laws in every county.

To grant marriage licenses, independently of the state laws requiring them to issue from the clerk of the county commissioners’ court.

To try cases of slander and causes the jurisdiction whereof is vested exclusively in the circuit courts of the state.

To punish by fine and imprisonment persons guilty of speaking words disrespectful of Joseph Smith, and other alleged offenses, which if cognizable any where, belonged exclusively to the circuit courts.

To arrest and annoy peaceable visiters to the city, by vexatious confinement and examination, under pretence of regulating its police.

To discharge persons from arrests upon civil or criminal process from any court of the state, by writs of habeas corpus emanating from the city council.

And they passed an ordinance prohibiting any civil officer to serve process from the state courts in Nauvoo, unless it was countersigned by their mayor, under penalty of fine and imprisonment, which the governor of the state is forbidden to remit by his pardon!”

No one is saying that the Mormons didn’t suffer tremendously when they left Nauvoo and trekked westward; but, they didn’t have to leave. If their leadership would have simply obeyed the laws of the land the Mormons wouldn’t have been forced from the state. The Mormon Church knows that truth doesn’t garnish sympathy, so they promote the story that the reason that the Mormons were “driven out” was religious persecution which is a blatant falsehood!

I for one believe the citizenry of Illinois ought to cry out and demand the Mormon Church tell the truth about what really happened and remove the smear story being fostered against the Great State of Illinois that a bunch of religious Illinoisan bigots drove the Mormons out because of religious persecution. No, the Mormons were forced to leave because they refused to obey the laws of the land.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mountain Meadow Massacre Memorial Service 9-11-07


Find out all you can about the Fancher wagon train. At Mountain Meadows, Utah 120 unarmed men, women and children over the age of 8 were murdered in cold blood by Mormon Priesthood leaders and members of the LDS Church. Contact Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach at http://www.MormonOutreach.org to learn more. Share this video with your friends and family, they need to see it and learn about this horrible event which happened on September 11, 1857 and could also be called America's First 9/11...sorry to say that the audio has been deleted since we attended this Memorial in 2007.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wall Street Journal

TABERNACLE ON TRIAL
Mormons Dismayed by Harsh Spotlight
By SUZANNE SATALINE
February 8, 2008; Page A1

Mitt Romney's campaign for the presidency brought more attention to the Mormon Church than it has had in years. What the church discovered was not heartening.

Critics of its doctrines and culture launched frequent public attacks. Polling data showed that far more Americans say they'd never vote for a Mormon than those who admitted they wouldn't choose a woman or an African-American.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in late January revealed that 50% of Americans said they would have reservations or be "very uncomfortable" about a Mormon as president. That same poll found that 81% would be "enthusiastic" or "comfortable" with an African-American and 76% with a woman.

The Mormon religion "was the silent factor in a lot of the decision making by evangelicals and others," says Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the poll. The Romney campaign ran into "a religious bias head wind," Mr. Hart and his Republican polling partner, Bill McInurff, wrote late last month.

"I don't think that any of us had any idea how much anti-Mormon stuff was out there," said Armand Mauss, a Mormon sociologist who has written extensively about church culture, in an interview last week. "The Romney campaign has given the church a wake-up call. There is the equivalent of anti-Semitism still out there."

Yesterday, the former Massachusetts governor said he was suspending his quest for the Republican nomination, following a poor showing in the "Super Tuesday" contests. Mr. Romney made no mention of his religion when he withdrew.

There were many other factors that may have contributed to his failed campaign. He didn't gain sufficient traction among the social conservatives influential to his party. Opponents attacked him, saying he changed his moderate stances to more conservative ones to attract votes, including his position on abortion.

Some observers play down religious bias as a factor. Ken Jennings, a Mormon who was a "Jeopardy!" champion, says anti-Mormon attacks "contributed" to Mr. Romney's problems, but weren't the only obstacle. "I suspect there were bigger forces in play than the religion," such as perceptions that Mr. Romney had shifted his positions, says Mr. Jennings, of Seattle. "There were principled reasons to say, 'I like McCain over Romney.'"

Religion "wasn't a factor in the governor's decision to step aside," says Eric Fehrnstrom, a campaign spokesman. "There was a lot more focus on religion early on in the race, but as people learned more about Gov. Romney, his success as a businessman and as leader of the Olympics, it receded as an issue into the background."

Anti-Mormonism

Nevertheless, Mr. Romney's campaign exposed a surprisingly virulent strain of anti-Mormonism that had been largely hidden to the general public.

In December, political pundit and actor Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. unleashed a tirade on the "McLaughlin Group" television talk show, tearing into the Mormon Church and Mr. Romney's faith. "Romney comes from a religion founded by a criminal who was anti-American, pro-slavery, and a rapist. And he comes from that lineage and says, 'I respect this religion fully.'...He's got to answer."

Mormons were outraged. Hundreds complained to the show and on radio talk shows and the Internet, protesting that the remarks about church founder Joseph Smith were bigoted and unfounded.

Mr. O'Donnell, a former MSNBC commentator who plays a lawyer for polygamists on the HBO drama "Big Love," says he has nothing to apologize for. "Everything I said was true," he says. Although the McLaughlin Group says it will keep Mr. O'Donnell off the air for now, neither MSNBC nor HBO plans to take action against him, spokespeople say.

AN AMERICAN FLOCK

1827 Joseph Smith, a farmer in upstate New York, says an angel named Moroni leads him to golden plates that contain a 'New World' scripture.

1830 The document is published as The Book of Mormon. The Church of Christ is organized.

1831 Mr. Smith and his followers move to Kirtland, Ohio. He designates Independence, Mo., as Zion. Locals drive out Mormons from Jackson County, Mo., two years later.

1839 After a war with locals in Missouri, Mormons move to Nauvoo, Ill., where Mr. Smith eventually becomes mayor. There, Mormon leaders receive revelation that they should engage in plural (polygamous) marriages. That divides the Mormons.

1844 Mr. Smith runs for president of the U.S. Mormons close down a Nauvoo paper, which vowed to expose the group's polygamy. Mr. Smith is arrested and assassinated by a mob.

1846 Forced from Nauvoo, Mormons journey to the West. Brigham Young becomes the church's second president after the first groups arrive in Salt Lake Valley. He later denies black members leadership roles.

1857 Travelers are massacred at Mountain Meadows, Utah; Mormons are implicated.

1862 Ten years after the church announces its polygamy policy, Congress passes Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, defining plural marriage as a crime.

1887 Congressional act strips the church of its incorporation.

1890 Church president declares an end to plural marriage. The ban is not uniformly followed and it is restated in 1904.

1896 Utah is granted statehood.

1907 Mormon Church leader, Reed Smoot, is seated in the Senate after senators object for years because of the church's earlier stand on polygamy.

1978 Church announces that its leaders received a revelation which allows black members to be church leaders.

1982 Church membership reaches five million. Membership doubles by 1997.

"The vast majority of Americans recognize that one of our strengths as a nation is our tolerance for religions that are different than our own," says Mr. Fehrnstrom, the campaign spokesman. "Sadly, not every person thinks that way, but there's nothing that can be said or done to change their small minds."

For Mormons, Mr. O'Donnell's comments were a rallying cry. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught not to argue with outsiders over faith. But as criticism of their church rose to new heights during the campaign, they took on their antagonists like never before, in a wave of activism encouraged by church leadership.

Mormon leaders and church members say they were initially unprepared for the intensity of attacks, which many say were unprecedented in modern times. The attacks, they say, are a sign that their long struggle for wide acceptance in America is far from over, despite global church expansion and prosperity.

On the Internet, the Romney bid prompted an outpouring of broadsides against Mormonism from both the secular and religious worlds. Evangelical Christian speakers who consider it their mission to criticize Mormon beliefs lectured to church congregations across the country. Richard John Neuhaus, editor of the Catholic journal First Things, wrote that a Mormon presidency would threaten Christian faiths. Atheist author Christopher Hitchens called Mormonism "a mad cult" on Slate.com, and Bill Keller, a former convict who runs an online ministry in Florida, told a national radio audience that a vote for Mr. Romney was a vote for Satan.

"It seems like it's been open season on Mormons," says Marvin Perkins, a Los Angeles Mormon Church member who lectures about the history of blacks in the church.

Mr. Romney was reluctant to speak publicly about his religion. Eventually, senior advisers persuaded him to do so to allay voter concerns about how it might affect his decision-making as president. Comparisons were made to a campaign speech that John Kennedy, who became America's first Roman Catholic president, delivered to an audience of Baptists. Although Mr. Romney's December speech was well-received by political pundits, it did little to move his polling numbers.

That same month, M. Russell Ballard, one of the church's 12 apostles, or governors, urged students at a graduation at Church-owned Brigham Young University to use the Internet and "new media" to defend the faith. At least 150 new Mormon sites were created and registered with the site mormon-blogs.com. "People were haranguing us on the Internet," Mr. Ballard said in an interview. "I just felt we needed to unleash our own people."

Normally insular church leaders, with help from Washington-based consultant Apco Worldwide, began a public-relations campaign last fall, visiting 11 editorial boards of newspapers across the country. In another first, the church posted a series of videos, some featuring Mr. Ballard, on YouTube to counter a wave of anti-Mormon footage on the site.

'Member of the Tribe'

Many Mormons were excited by Mr. Romney's candidacy. "There's a member of the tribe that's up there," Nathan Oman, an assistant professor at William and Mary School of Law, said last month, adding that he had not yet decided whom to vote for. "What happens to him is a test of whether or not our tribe gets included in the political universe."

Mormonism began in 1830 after Joseph Smith, a farmer in upstate New York, said an angel led him to some golden plates that contained a "New World gospel" -- the Book of Mormon. Mormons regard themselves as Christians, but some Christian denominations, including the Southern Baptist Convention, do not. They regard as heresy the Mormon belief that Mr. Smith was a prophet and that the Bible was not the final word of God.

The faith's early history was marked by tension and brutal forced exiles, sparked in part by the practice of polygamy by some church members. After Mr. Smith was arrested in Nauvoo, Ill., a mob killed him and drove off his followers. The Mormons fled to Utah. Polygamy fed repeated conflicts with the federal government until the church banned the practice world-wide in 1904. The church has flourished in recent years, and claims 13 million members world-wide.

Old Lines of Attack

Mr. Romney's candidacy revived old lines of attack and mockery of some of the church's unusual practices, such as secret ceremonies, the wearing of special undergarments, and the baptizing the dead in the belief that it will help them join family members in heaven.

Among the most active critics were practitioners of evangelical Christian "apologetics" -- speakers and writers who make their mission to actively defend their faith. For some of them, that involves criticizing Mormonism.

At the Life Point Bible Church in Quincy, Ill., last month, evangelical apologist Rocky Hulse told 35 members that Mr. Romney should not be considered a Christian. Mr. Hulse, a former Mormon, told the group that Mormons believe in more than one god and that they believe God impregnated Mary in the normal fashion, not by granting her a virgin birth. The audience sat rapt.

Scott Gordon, president of the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, a Mormon group, says Mr. Hulse is wrong on the facts. Mormons pray to one God, he says, and believe, like most Christians, that Mary was a virgin. Mr. Gordon went on talk-radio shows to rebut claims of other apologists.

In December, while campaigning for the Iowa caucuses, former Baptist preacher and Republican candidate Mike Huckabee asked a magazine reporter: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" The Southern Baptist Convention, Mr. Huckabee's denomination, posts essays on its Web site saying Mormonism is a non-Christian cult.

Mormon church leaders, who repeatedly asserted the church's neutrality in elections, had tried to keep out of the political fray. Church spokesman Michael Otterson says they couldn't ignore Mr. Huckabee's comment. Members said it implied that they were devil worshipers. Phones were ringing off the hook at church headquarters in Salt Lake City.

"Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers" from a pre-existing world, the church said in a statement. "Christ was the only begotten in the flesh."

"I'm not impugning the motives of a political candidate," Mr. Otterson said. "But the result of the question was to confuse the situation, not to enlighten." Mr. Huckabee swiftly apologized to Mr. Romney for the comment. He handily won the Iowa caucuses, helped by huge numbers of evangelicals.

(Mr. Huckabee himself may face voter opposition for his religious views. The January Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed that 45% of Americans have concerns about an evangelical Christian as president.)

Soon, the Mormon Church began posting its videos on YouTube -- 22 so far. One clip, for example, showed Mr. Ballard, the church apostle, answering the question "Are Mormons Christian?" It has drawn 26,000 views. By contrast, a cartoon clip from "The God Makers," a 1980s film that mocks Mormon beliefs, has been viewed 945,000 times.

Mr. Ballard's call for more new-media activism inspired dozens of new Web sites. On Politicalds.com, several Mormons of different political views write about the presidential race. Founder Mike Rogan, of Chandler, Ariz., says he started the blog "to combat some specific misconceptions about Mormons," including that all Mormons are "conservatives with a mindless 'sheep' mentality."

Mr. Hitchens, the best-selling author of "God is Not Great," wrote last fall that Mr. Romney owed voters a discussion about "the mad cult" of his church. Similar commentaries inspired Ryan Bell, a Salt Lake City attorney, to start a Web site, Romney Experience.com last summer. "Every faith has wacky doctrines," he says, adding that the press seems fixated on his faith's more sensational side.

Mormon fury boiled over after Mr. O'Donnell's appearance on the "McLaughlin Group," when he called Mr. Smith a proslavery criminal and rapist. He said Mr. Romney "was" a racist because he was a member of a church that discriminated against blacks until 1978.

Mr. Bell and others responded on their Web sites that church founder Mr. Smith, who faced many charges in his turbulent life, including treason, was never convicted of any crimes. (At least one Mormon historian says he was found guilty of a misdemeanor as a minor for fraud, but others say incomplete court records make it impossible to determine.)

The allegations about blacks stung the most. Many Mormon historians say Mr. Smith welcomed blacks from the church's inception, had ordained some blacks, and ran on an abolitionist platform for president in 1844. Blacks were barred from being church leaders, they say, by his successor, Brigham Young. Many Protestant churches, Mr. Bell pointed out, were segregated well into the 20th century. In 1978, the church lifted the ban on blacks becoming leaders.

Taking Action

Mormons called on the "McLaughlin Group" to take action against Mr. O'Donnell. Host John McLaughlin decided that Mr. O'Donnell, who appeared seven times last year, will be kept off the air for now, says Allison Butler, the show's managing director. Any apology to Mormons must come from him, Ms. Butler says.

Although Mr. Romney's withdrawal from the race is likely to quiet the controversy for now, many church members believe the turmoil of the past year will have lasting effects.

"There will be a long-term consequence in the Mormon church," says Mr. Mauss, the Mormon sociologist. "I think there is going to be a wholesale reconsideration with how Mormons should deal with the latent and overt anti-Mormon propaganda. I don't think the Mormons are ever again going to sorrowfully turn away and close the door and just keep out of the fray."

--Jackie Calmes and Elizabeth Holmes contributed to this article.

Write to Suzanne Sataline at suzanne.sataline@wsj.com3

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mormon Prophet Hinckley Claims That Polygamy Isn't Doctrinal


This was the interview that the 15th Mormon Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley did with Larry King, back in September of 1998. In this interview, Hinckley categorically states that polygamy "is not doctrinal" and that the the Fundamentalist Mormons have NOTHING to do with the current Mormons.

Gordon B. Hinckley is a liar and all we need to do is study Mormon history and specifically D&C 132, in the current Mormon cannon of scriptures to know that they taught and STILL teach polygamy and plan to live it in the highest degree of Celestial glory, when they're Gods and Goddesses.

Thanks again to Paul Maughan, for creating these great videos, exposing "the REAL TRUTH" of Mormonism.

Here is the transcript of this part of the interview:

Larry King: Now the big story raging in Utah -- before we get back to morals and morality, is -- the big story, if you don't know it, is polygamy in Utah; there's been major charges. The governor, Mike Leavitt, says that there are legal reasons why the state of Utah has not prosecuted alleged polygamists. Leavitt said plural marriage may be protected by the First Amendment. He is the great-great-grandson -- is the governor -- of a polygamist. First tell me about the church and polygamy. When it started it allowed it?

Gordon B. Hinckley: When our people came west they permitted it on a restricted scale.

Larry King: You could have a certain amount of...

Gordon B. Hinckley: The figures I have are from -- between two percent and five percent of our people were involved in it. It was a very limited practice; carefully safeguarded. In 1890, that practice was discontinued. The president of the church, the man who occupied the position which I occupy today, went before the people, said he had, oh, prayed about it, worked on it, and had received from the Lord a revelation that it was time to stop, to discontinue it then. That's 118 years ago. It's behind us.

Larry King: But when the word is mentioned, when you hear the word, you think Mormon, right?

Gordon B. Hinckley: You do it mistakenly. They have no connection with us whatever. They don't belong to the church. There are actually no Mormon fundamentalists.

Larry King: Are you surprised that there's, apparently, a lot of polygamy in Utah?

Gordon B. Hinckley: I have seen the thing grow somewhat. I don't know how much it is. I don't know how pervasive it is.

(skipped two questions)

Larry King: President Hinckley, when the press pays attention to it, it does affect you, certainly, in a public relations sense?

Gordon B. Hinckley: It does, because people mistakenly assume that this church has something to do with it. It has nothing whatever to do with it. It has had nothing to do with it for a very long time. It's outside the realm of our responsibility. These people are not members. Any man or woman who becomes involved in it is excommunicated from the church.

Larry King: Prosecutors in Utah are quoted as saying -- they told "The Salt Lake Tribune" -- that it's difficult to prosecute polygamists because of a lack of evidence; that ex-wives and daughters rarely complain about it. Do you see that as a problem?

Gordon B. Hinckley: Well, it's secretive. There's a certain element of secretiveness about it. I suppose they have some difficulty -- they say they do, in gathering evidence.

Larry King: Should the church be more forceful in speaking out? I mean, you're forceful here tonight, but maybe -- they've been saying that it's rather than just a state matter, encouraging the state to prosecute.

Gordon B. Hinckley: I don't know. We'll consider it.

Larry King: I'm giving you an idea.

Gordon B. Hinckley: Yes.

Larry King: Would you look better if you were...

Gordon B. Hinckley: I don't know that we would or not. As far as I'm concerned, I have nothing to do with it. It belongs to the civil officers of the state.

Larry King: You condemn it.

Gordon B. Hinckley: I condemn it, yes, as a practice, because I think it is not doctrinal. It is not legal. And this church takes the position that we will abide by the law. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, magistrates in honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.

Extra part:

"Gordon B. Hinckley: Let me say that I still believe that right is right, and wrong is wrong. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness. These aren't suggestions, these are commandments."

Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine