Vol. 4. Prelude – The Basis of Expectation
Honesty and Integrity
In my work, I often accuse the Mormon Church of lies, deception and a conspiracy to deceive through countless additions, deletions, interpolations and suppression regarding their historical documentation and so-called scriptures. I do so only when and where the evidence is conclusive and it is proven to be the case. I offer no personal opinions on aspects that are questioned. I provide only evidentiary proof of the underlying truth of each matter and compare that with what the Church erroneously claims to be the case.
The fact of the matter is that the Church has always promoted an internal concept at the highest levels that ‘lying for the Lord’ as it is termed, is somehow justified for some supposed ‘greater good’. I cannot personally conceive of any greater good than honesty and integrity. If there is a God, it is generally accepted that He is not even capable of lies or deception, representing only truth, integrity and everything that is good. Any other perception would render Him evil and incapable of being God. I do not expect a church or its leaders who claim to represent Almighty God and Jesus Christ as ‘ordained’ prophets and apostles to be anything other than what they publicly proclaim.
I hold the Mormon Church and its leaders (as well as their God) to the same standards they themselves advertise as being expected of themselves and their members – no more, and certainly no less. Yet the fundamental claims of the Mormon Church are worse than suspicious, they can be proven to contain carefully concealed falsehoods and many outright lies. There are so many that it is impossible to even begin to count them. Some even appear to be endorsed by their own version of God. Nothing that the Mormon Church publishes or teaches is untainted. Some provable deceptions, such as the publication of D&C 101 which proclaimed monogamy the only approved form of Mormon marriage, are admitted as lies, considered unfortunate but necessary at the time, to protect Church leaders and the secret practice of polygamy.
That it was directed at members rather than non-members in order to hide polygamy from many of the faithful is reprehensible. Many known lies are still hidden from members today in a continued conspiracy to deceive them about the past, supposedly as “some things that are true, are not helpful”. (Do not spread disease germs! Boyd K. Packer. BYU Studies, Summer 1981:259, 262-271). The fact is that Mormon origins, as proclaimed to investigators in the missionary lessons, are entirely fraudulent. People are first deceived and then deluded. They then pay for their mistake by devoting their lives to Mormonism and donating their money to further the lies. If this sounds harsh, it is meant to as deception regarding faith in fiction is one of the worst crimes imaginable. The evidence is conclusive and needs to be fully exposed.
The Mormon Articles of Faith
The first eleven ‘articles’ are short statements of basic Mormon belief. (See: Pearl of Great Price; or History of the Church Vol. 4. pp.535-541). The last two articles are declarations of the expected behaviour of all Church members.
It is not unreasonable to hold claimed prophets and apostles to their own declared standards for their followers. For them to expect anything less would in fact nullify their claim to such status. They must stand and be counted. The final two Mormon ‘Articles of Faith’ are:
- We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.
- We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul – We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (Emphasis added).
Most Mormons have no idea that Smith was not the originator of these articles. They were derived from some earlier statements, which were actually penned and published by Orson Pratt in 1840, in his pamphlet; An Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions. Smith, as usual in his writings, simply plagiarised them, altering them to suit his own requirements. He first published them as his in Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, 15 March 1842:709-710. (See: The Changing Articles of Faith by Sandra Tanner, online resource available at www.utlm.org; also: Tanner 1991:27-28).
Oliver Cowdery wrote a version in the Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate in October 1834 and later, Joseph Young, brother of Brigham Young, had a go at writing some articles while proselyting in Boston in 1836. Orson Hyde later wrote some that were similar to Orson Pratt’s version when he was in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1842 in his German language pamphlet ‘A Cry From the Wilderness’. It was the same year in which Smith wrote what has famously become known as the ‘Wentworth Letter’.
Smith included the thirteen articles in a letter he wrote to ‘Long’ John Wentworth when explaining Mormonism to him. Hence the average Mormon believes Joseph Smith invented the articles himself. As ever, the Church makes no real effort to ensure members are remotely aware of the truth.
Regarding the above two ‘Articles of Faith’, note the Mormon Church claims they not only ‘obey’ the laws of the land, but that they also ‘honour’ and ‘sustain’ those laws. This means actively upholding and supporting the law. It does not by any stretch of the imagination mean ignoring or disregarding the law and then lying about doing so. The Church actually claims that at times God has told them to do so. (See: The Mormon Delusion Vols. 1-3 for several examples).
The Articles were first published in the 1840s when polygamy was being secretly practiced by an inner circle of Mormon leaders. Polygamy was always completely illegal. In 1890, the prophet Wilford Woodruff issued a Manifesto which is now held as canonised scripture in the D&C, known as ‘Official Declaration 1’. They claim it was from God. It forbade any further polygamy and the Church agreed with the government that they would not allow any further plural marriages and also that they would each only cohabit with one wife following an amnesty in 1891.
As an example of the Mormon leaders’ attitudes to Articles of Faith 12 and 13, the following three questions (out of many that could be asked) should be addressed by the current leaders – that is, if they want to continue to claim that Official Declaration 1 is in fact a canon from their God. Otherwise, integrity demands they accept the truth, remove it from the D&C and then discard it completely. Rank and file Mormons deserve to know the truth. They should be free to decide what they make of it for themselves rather than have leaders conceal the truth just because they consider it not helpful. The fact is that it is not just ‘not helpful’; the overall truth confirms Mormonism not of God at all.
Question No. 1. Why did the prophet, Wilford Woodruff, marry his sixth wife, Lydia Mountford, on 19 August 1897, when he was ninety and she was thirty-nine (possibly forty-nine), years old, fifty-one (or forty-one), years his junior (records conflict); seven years after he himself had issued the Manifesto and declared that God told him to stop the practice for good? Either Woodruff lied (history shows he did – see TMD Vol. 1 for full details), or he not only disobeyed the laws of the land, having entered a legal agreement not to continue polygamy, but he also directly disobeyed his God. Either way, Woodruff could not possibly therefore qualify as a true prophet. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’
Question No. 2. Why did the following happen? In 1904, the prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, published an official declaration confirming and upholding Wilford Woodruff’s ‘Manifesto’. Then, in 1906, Smith was arrested, convicted and fined $300 for cohabiting with four women. In today’s money that would be well over $7,000. Another prophet thus lied and deceived the government and his own Church members alike. Ergo; he also could not have been a true prophet.
Question No. 3. Why was I able to locate and document (See: TMD Vol. 1 for full list of names and dates) well over one-hundred babies conceived and born to polygamous (not first) wives of general authorities during the two decades following the 1890 Manifesto. The fact is that the Mormon prophets and apostles publicly proclaimed one thing to their Church and to the world at large via a proclaimed revelation from God, whilst they themselves completely ignored it. You can try to hide the truth but you can’t hide all the babies.
The 1890 Manifesto was originally conceived by a committee; worded by lawyers, and reworked by Woodruff who issued it, fait accompli, while most apostles were out of town. Had they all been there to vote, it would have been rejected out of hand as with previous attempts to introduce such an idea. Most apostles were obliged to approve it retrospectively and ultimately did so only very grudgingly. That hardly constituted a unanimous quorum vote or humble acceptance that God was declaring His divine will for the Church. (See: TMD Vol 1. Ch.14 for full details). When the Manifesto was voted on at Conference, many members and a number of apostles abstained from voting.
The ‘Manifesto’ was the only way to get the United States government to release seized Church assets in order for the Church to survive. The obviously fraudulent ‘revelation’, now known as D&C Official Declaration 1, became canonised, despite the fact that all the apostles (with the notable exception of Lorenzo Snow) completely ignored it. Had any of them remotely considered it to actually be God’s will, clearly they would have obeyed it. Modern Mormon Church leaders know perfectly well that the document was a manufactured lie. It could not possibly have constituted revelation from God; everyone knew it then – and Mormon leaders know it now. They ignore truth. Is that honest?
It is however a convenient document, used in order to explain away the supposed end of the polygamy story. The recent prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, responded to the press “It’s behind us”. Hinckley never wanted to face and deal with such things. So, Official Declaration 1 stays, even though it is known to be as much of a lie as ‘old’ D&C 101 was in its day. The honourable thing to do would be to acknowledge that it was not received from God and remove it from the D&C, explaining that circumstances, rather than God, dictated that it originally be published. Not to do so constitutes a major contribution to the continuing conspiracy to deceive rank and file Mormons, missionaries, and investigators today. Modern leaders know the truth and do nothing about it.
And that is just one example of the many provably fraudulent Mormon claims. In my forty-three years as a Mormon, I had no idea that such lies and conspiracy existed. They are that well hidden. If I had been apprised of any of this before contemplating Mormonism I would never have considered the possibility that God was involved and most certainly would never have joined the Church. The fact that no one else would either is clearly understood by Mormon Church leaders and that is why they continue in their conspiracy to deceive everyone rather than come clean and publish the truth.
The following statement encapsulates official Church policy on honesty and integrity:
“Honest people love truth and justice. They are honest in their words and actions. Lying is intentionally deceiving others. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.” (Mormon Lesson Manual, ‘Gospel Principles’ 1979. Chapter 31. Honesty).
Historically, many Mormon Church leaders can be proven to have told outright lies. Modern leaders can do nothing other than admit this was the case, (but even then, they only do so when there is no alternative) and try to excuse them as being for some ‘greater good’. On many occasions, modern leaders violate their own more detailed requirement for all members included above. Many may indeed have lied by a gesture or a look. They most certainly have often lied by silence or by telling only part of the truth. They have become extremely adept at using words in statements which at first glance appear to be the truth and yet at the same time are full of hidden lies. I relate details of some good examples of that in my earlier volumes. One I will summarise here is from TMD Volume 1 where I write about the Church having the following statement on its web site regarding Zina Diantha Huntington, an early Mormon Relief Society President. This will more than illustrate the point. At the end of her short biography, Zina’s marriages are explained thus:
“Widowed by her first husband, she raised two sons from that marriage, one daughter from her later marriage to Brigham Young…” (Zina D. H. Young Biographical Sketch. Available at: www.lds.org under the heading of ‘Relief Society’).
Each statement is actually true. Zina did outlive her first husband. They did have two children. She did later marry Brigham Young. She did have a daughter by Young. However, within the true statements are a number of very carefully hidden lies. The inferences are clear but the real underlying story is entirely different. These are the established historical facts and Zina’s marriage sequence which the Church accepts but would rather people did not discover.
As happened with several other young ‘housemaids’, Joseph Smith tried to get Zina to marry him when she was a teenager living in his home. She was too frightened to accommodate him and she twice refused his illicit advances.
This was the subsequent real sequence of events:
Zina married Henry Bailey Jacobs on 7 March 1841 aged 20.
Joseph Smith later sent Zina’s brother to tell her that an angel with a drawn sword had threatened to kill Smith if she did not marry him.
Zina subsequently entered a polyandrous marriage with Joseph Smith on 27 October 1841. She was almost seven months pregnant with her first son, Zebulon, at the time.
Joseph Smith died in June of 1844.
Zina entered a second polyandrous marriage with Brigham Young in September of 1844, aged 23.
Zina’s marriage to Brigham Young was confirmed in the Nauvoo Temple on 2 February 1846. She was over seven months pregnant with her second son, Henry, at that time.
Zina was simultaneously sealed to Joseph Smith for eternity and Brigham Young stood proxy.
Zina had a baby by Young (Zina Presendia) on 3 April 1850 within their polyandrous marriage.
Brigham Young died on 29 August 1877 aged 76.
Henry B. Jacobs died some nine years later, on 1 August 1886, aged 69.
When Henry died, Zina’s two sons were actually forty-four & forty years old respectively.
Zina & Henry were never divorced.
The above are historically verified facts which are accepted by Mormon Church apologists and historians. No one can theologically explain or justify the polyandrous relationships.
Compare the historical facts with the Church statement that Zina was:
Widowed by her first husband, she raised two sons from that marriage, one daughter from her later marriage to Brigham Young…
The reason this is carefully hidden is that polyandry is officially confirmed by the Mormon Church as “contrary to doctrine” and “those who participated would have to account for it”. Compare the truth of the matter and the Church statement about it with Church published ‘standards’ on honesty and integrity. Joseph Smith had no integrity whatsoever and today there is very little integrity to be found among the ranks of senior Mormon Church leadership.
I complained directly to a current Mormon apostle about some of the lies – including this one. Whilst Zina’s biography remains in place on the Mormon Church web site, the above statement has subsequently been removed. She is now the only Relief Society President with no marriage details. She is however referred to throughout as ‘Sister Young’. If removal of the detail was an act of contrition regarding honesty and integrity then it is at least a step forward. It is a start. However, overall, I fear that it is too little, too late.
I have started this work with the above notes to establish both the standard that should be expected of Mormon Church (or any church) leaders compared with the actual behaviour of Mormon leaders through the ages. In the chapters that follow, everything taught by the Church is held to these same standards. It will soon be discovered that Mormon leaders rarely if ever abide by their own mandates. Mormon leaders most certainly do not practice what they preach. They pretend to represent a Church established (restored) by divine mandate and yet what they claim to be from God is peppered with lies and deception to the extent that if God exists, He could and would never have been involved with such things. They are not of God.
The Mormon Church disciplines its own historians if they publish history which is considered ‘not helpful’ when nevertheless it is actually true. If the leaders could only understand, when the ultimate truth is revealed, none of it is helpful to the Church. The leaders deliberately lie and deceive members by obfuscating the truth, sometimes even when there appears no real reason to do so. The truth undermines every aspect that the Church pretends is truth until it leaves nothing for anyone to take to the Lord in prayer for an ethereal response in which they may perceive it is true. This work will prove that to be the case conclusively as we look, step by step, at what the Church portrays as truth to investigators and compare it to the historical facts.