Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Well Do You Know Mormon Church Leaders of the Past?

Last month (March 2011) Ensign magazine included a challenge titled “How Well Do You Know Our Church Leaders?” It consisted of 15 details from the lives of the 15 current Prophets, Seers and Revelators of the LDS Church. Readers were invited to match the names with the facts.
The Ensign challenge included things like figuring out which leader once raised rabbits or worked on an oyster boat. The lives of LDS leaders throughout the history of the Mormon Church reflect much more interesting details than those included in the Ensign article. So I here add my own version of “How Well Do You Know Mormon Church Leaders of the Past?” See if you can match the following eight names of early Church leaders with events or other details from their lives. Answers and references follow, but see how well you can do without peeking.
  1. Apostle Jedediah Grant
  2. Apostle Amasa Lyman
  3. Apostle Franklin D. Richards
  4. President Sidney Rigdon
  5. President Joseph Smith
  6. Apostle* David Whitmer
  7. President Wilford Woodruff
  8. President Brigham Young
A. When returning to Salt Lake City after a mission, this leader and his traveling companions overtook the Willie Handcart Company, stopping for a night to encourage the pioneers. After promising that they would all end their journey in the “Valleys of the Mountains with strong and healthy bodies,” this leader asked Captain Willie for “fresh meat” and took the Company’s fattest calf.
B. This leader was sealed to four hundred unmarried women ancestors in a single day.
C. He accused his wife of attempting to murder him by putting poison in his coffee.
D. This Mormon leader said he received a revelation from God telling him to separate himself from the Latter-day Saints because they had “gone deep into error and blindness.”
E. Speaking of the sinful actions of some Latter-day Saints, this leader publicly called for a place to be designated where the blood of covenant-breakers could be shed.
F. According to the Law of Adoption practiced in the early Mormon Church, this man was sealed to someone who was later convicted of mass murder.
G. In a fiery and memorable sermon, this leader declared a “war of extermination” against non-Mormons.
H. Hosting and participating in séances and automatic writing, this Mormon leader fully embraced the “spiritualist underground” operating all throughout Utah.
* While not usually listed among LDS apostles, D&C 18:9, Brigham Young, and Larry Porter writing for the Ensign, all indicate that David Whitmer was called as an apostle.

A. 3, Roberts, Devils Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, 162-164; B. 7, Van Wagoner & Walker, A Book of Mormons, 399; C. 5, Newell & Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, 164; D. 6, Whitmer, An Address To All Believers in Christ, 27; E. 1, Journal of Discourses 4:49-50; F. 8, Van Wagoner & Walker, A Book of Mormons, 156; G. 4, LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 50-51; H. 2, Avery, From Mission to Madness, 186-188.

© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Letter to Editor Quincy Herald-Whig

Sidney Rigdon
Quincy Herald-Whig

Dear Editor,

In the article on Sunday, September 3, 2006, titled "Historical maker will be placed at the long-lost cemetery," I wish to bring to the public's attention an historical error.  Deborah Getrz Husar is an excellent writer and is simply unaware of the facts, as are most Americans.  The states "Taylor, Crossley's third great - grandfather, joined the church after hearing one sermon in 1832. Religious persecution drove Taylor, his wife Elizabeth, their 14 children and other Mormons from Missouri to Illinois in 1839."
The Mormon Church PR campaign has been quite successful at rewriting history and painting the Mormon migrations from New York to Salt Lake City as pure religious persecution.  A factual study of history proves otherwise.  The following is a quote from the book Quest for Empire, page 150:

One enemy of the Saints ask the pointed question, if the Mormons were entirely the victims of the ill will of their neighbors, "why have they come into violent conflict with the people in all seven places of settlement?  For they have tried every kind of people, from New York, through Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri, to Salt Lake.  Are all the people of all those places incurably vicious, mobbers and trespassers on religious rights?"

The Mormons were forced out of Missouri by Governor Boggs "Extermination Orders" issued October 27, 1838; however, Sidney Ridgon, First Counselor to Joesph Smith on July 4, 1838 delivered a speech in which he stated a "war of extermination" would exist between the Missourians and the Saints until "one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed."   The following quote pertains:  "But from this day and this hour we will suffer it no more. We take God and all the holy angels to witness, this day, that we warn all men, in the name of Jesus Christ to com on us no more for ever, for from this hour we will bear it no more; our rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity; the man, or set of men who attempt it, do it at the expense of their lives.  And that mob comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination; for we will follow then until the last drop of their blood is spilled; or else they will have to exterminate us, for we will carry the seat for the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed."  (A Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 1, pg 441).

The above sermon by Sidney Rigdon was approved by Joseph Smith and the other leading elders of the Mormon Church.  Yes, Governor Boggs issued an extermination order; however, it was almost four months after the leadership of the Mormon Church issued and extermination order against the Missourians.  Why do we only hear that Governor Boggs of Missouri issued an "extermination order" against the Mormons?  Why don't we hear the fact that the Mormon Church leadership issued the first "extermination order,"  almost four months prior to Governor Boggs order?  For the unedited history of Mormonism, contact MMMO at www.MormonOutreach.org

Rocky Hulse
President Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc.

© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice is included.

Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine