A new and lengthy Mormon essay covering early Church related violence has been issued. Carefully crafted and cleverly manipulated accounts leave out underlying reasons for much of what happened. Unless you have studied the real facts and are already aware of the true history, it would be very easy to be taken in by this essay – which is supposed to make things more ‘transparent’, yet in reality continues to hide more than it reveals. Naturally, it doesn’t admit that Smith himself was the cause of the Saints being driven out of each area – but then, they really can’t do that without admitting that no god was involved with him.
As just one example, question: why were Joseph Smith and his followers the only group to be hounded and chased out of every area in which they tried to settle? Even most of the schisms that broke away from Smith’s group before and after his death were left alone. Locals, at first, generally accepted Mormons to a new location, but they soon discovered Smith’s modus operandi was to take control of the whole area and run it himself. Moreover, he created an army to control his own church members as well as ‘gentiles’. So-called persecution was inevitable and of Smith’s own making, and ultimately his undoing, in every instance.
Ask, why were other religious groups never treated that way? There were enough of them; new churches and various denominations emerged quite peacefully. But they didn’t create their own armies, as Smith did. New religious sects and social groups were not unusual at the time or place. None of the following had the problems that Smith and his cohorts caused themselves.
Millerites, started by farmer, William Miller, in Low Hampton, New York. From 1840 onward, Millerism was transformed from an obscure, regional movement into a national campaign. No one seemed to mind.
The three Fox sisters of sleepy Hydesville in Wayne County created an international stir in 1848, with their claims to have heard “rappings” from beyond the grave. They gave public exhibitions of their ability to communicate with the dead. From this, the modern role of a medium evolved, and the new religion of Spiritualism was founded. The church is now based at Lily Dale in Chautauqua County, where the work of the Fox sisters goes on. No one tried to run them out of town when they made their claims.
Shakers were very active in the area and they were peacefully left to their own devices.
The Oneida Society was founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848, in Oneida, New York. They practiced communalism and free love, yet no one seemed to mind. Smaller Noyesian communities sprang up in Wallingford, Connecticut; Newark, New Jersey; Putney and Cambridge, Vermont. Whilst they didn’t last very long, they were not ‘persecuted’.
In addition to religious activity, the region including the burned-over district was noted for social radicalism. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the early feminist, was a resident of Seneca Falls in central New York. She and others in the community organized the Seneca Falls Convention devoted to women’s suffrage and rights.
The larger region was the main source of converts to the Fourierist utopian socialist movement. The Skaneateles Community in central New York was such an experiment. The Oneida Society, likewise in central New York, was also considered a utopian group. Related to radical reform, upstate New York provided many members of Hunter Patriots, some of whom volunteered to invade Canada during the Patriot War.
The area also produced innovative religious movements that were founded by clergy, such as the Social Gospel, a primary leader of which was Walter Rauschenbusch of Rochester.
“Radical Reform” was both usual and accepted, yet Smith managed to upset everyone, everywhere he went, enough to cause aggravation and unrest. He broke many laws, he was arrested many times, and was often on the run from the law. Ultimately, he would have been convicted of treason, had a mob not got to him first. Why would a supposedly peaceful Christian religious group’s leader need to create an army and declare himself a ‘Lieutenant-General’ – unless he was just an egotistical tyrannical psychopath?
Psychopath: Noun: A person with a personality disorder indicated by a pattern of lying, cunning, manipulation, manipulating, glibness, exploiting, heedlessness, arrogance, delusions of grandeur, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, disregard for morality, lack of acceptance of responsibility, callousness, and lack of empathy and remorse. Such an individual may be especially prone to violent and criminal offenses.
Meanwhile, recent scientific discoveries confirm once again that early American origins were anything but as described in the Book of Mormon. There is nowhere left for the Mormon Church to hide. Note that the scientific method of verifying research is not faith but rather independent verification by multiple labs. “Other researchers on the international team sequenced the mtDNA extracted from one of the skeleton’s teeth; two additional labs independently performed the same sequencing to verify the results.” Truth is verified through science every day. It is the only reliable method.
New light on early Americans’ origins is available here.